Ottawa is flying high after having beaten Daniel Alfredsson and the Red Wings (weird) 6-1 in Detroit on Wednesday night. Could this be a let down game, or will they be out for vengeance, in the name of Bobby Ryan, 2007 and the spanking the Ducks gave them on throwback night?
Keys to the Game: The Ducks have been having trouble generating offense in the past few games (especially early on). The good news is tonight's opponent gave up 56 shots to the Ducks less than two weeks ago. The bad news is they have a vested interest in not letting that happen again. That is what we in the cliche business call a double edged sword.
Since their loss to the Mighty Ducks on Oct 13, the Sens have gone 3-1-0, outscoring their opponents 16-7, with their only loss coming strangely at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. Erik Karlsson is starting to heat up with six points (1-5-6) in his last four games, as opposed to two points in his first five games (coincidentally?) ending with the previous match up versus Anaheim. Keeping the smooth skating, Swedish defenseman wrapped up will be crucial to the Ducks' success also.
What Can We Learn From this Game: According to the preseason plan we learned about a few weeks ago in Minnesota, Teemu Selanne is supposed to sit this game, after having played last night in Montreal. Will he and Bruce Boudreau be willing to stick to that plan so early in the season? Or will the pressure of the team's first losing streak creep into their minds?
Tuesday night in Toronto, Teemu looked right on the verge of having a breakthrough performance, with several grade A chances that he just couldn't quite get a handle on. Could an extra day off be just what he needs to get that slight advantage back? I guess that's something we'll have to find out on Sunday in Columbus (maybe).
In the last five games or so, the Ducks have seen some rather lackluster performances from much of their lineup. In my opinion, the difference between the three wins at home and the two losses to start this road trip has been the play of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
At home, when things started looking grim against Calgary, Phoenix and Dallas the Twins (Getzlaf in particular) turned their games up to another level. In Toronto and Montreal, they weren't able to and as a matter of fact, Boudreau split them up for the majority of last night's game. Perry had some flashes, playing on a line with Mathieu Perreault and Emerson Etem, but obviously nothing truly clicked.
Is separating Getzlaf and Perry something new to look for going forward, or just a desperate attempt to spark the game from, as Kristen called it last year, the Bruce Boudreau Random Line Generator? Probably the later, but if so, is that short time separating the two hockey soul mates enough to snap them back into their dominating form, or is it just a matter of home cooking?
And finally, is it time to see the first career NHL start from Frederik Andersen, after Jonas Hiller has given up eight goals in his past two games? I wouldn't mind it.
Fearless Prediction: Sub-Sock! That is all.
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