Keys to the Game: We've been saying each game that the Ducks face is a test for one reason or another but now comes a truly big one. The team is still badly injured and now have the flu virus running rampant through their ranks. They've lost two straight games, they're nearly 3,000 miles away from home, and they'll be playing their third game in four nights.
Last night on their second game in three nights, the Ducks looked even worse than the team that lost to the 28th-ranked Florida Panthers, and looked as though they were skating through three inches of mud the entire night. Appropriately, they got the snot beat out of them by the best of the East in the Tampa Bay Lightning in a game that was a complete disaster from start to finish. Literally at no point did it ever look like Anaheim was awake (sans Emerson Etem).
Now they're back at it less than 24 hours after that undoubted ego blow.
You want to talk about having to dig deep to gut one out? That's exactly what the Ducks are going to have to do in this game.
Good teams can find ways to overcome adversity like this and keep themselves on track. To this point in the season the Ducks have not lost three games in a row and on only one other occasion have lost two straight.
If they want to prove they're a good team, they'll need to rebound with a big win here.
What Can We Learn From this Game: Can this team get it done without Ryan Getzlaf? So far the evidence points heavily in the direction of "no." Getzlaf missed the home victory over the Vancouver Canucks, but let's be real--Anaheim in no way deserved that win, getting so badly outshot, outchanced, and outplayed for nearly the entire game.
Out on the road you won't win games playing like that and the Ducks expectedly haven't done so.
Coach Bruce Boudreau keeps hinting every game that there's a chance that Getzlaf might return but odds are far in favor of that not being in this contest. Once again the team will have to get it done without him.
Fearless Prediction: Corey Perry guts one out... all over the ice... in the pregame skate. Gross.
Stay tuned here for updates throughout the day (lineup news, etc.) and start commenting. We'll have a quick stats pack shortly before puck drop for the in-game comments to flow.