Keys to the Game: Last time out, the Ducks appeared to struggle with the lowly Islanders for about 38 minutes of the game. The Isles are not short on young, speedy talent, and their captain John Tavares is a budding superstar all his own. The Ducks wound up walking over the other New York team in the third period, but the final scoreline didn't really tell the whole story as the Ducks once again struggled with playing down to the level of their opponent.
Expect the Islanders, who are coming off a huge win over their rival New York Rangers last night, to come out flying and spirited, boosted by that victory. This team is way out, has little to lose, and just got a huge shot of confidence. All of that spells trouble for a Ducks team who has already blown one road contest this season to another Eastern Conference stinker in the Florida Panthers.
Tonight the Ducks will have the added disadvantage of playing without Teemu Selanne, as he will most likely be sitting due to the rule that he doesn't play one half of each back-to-back. The Finn, who is riding a three-game scoring streak, has just been coming to life again and will be a key part of our secondary scoring missing.
This is a game the Ducks should win, but that being said the key to this one is play this game exactly how you would play against any other talented team.
What Can We Learn From this Game: As said previously, the Ducks have a serious mental blockade they need to move past in order to come out with two points and extend their unbeaten streak to eight games. Likewise we're going to have to see how this team fares after some inevitable lineup shuffles. Can the team keep the chemistry going? Or is Boudreau's constant tinkering going to backfire and leave the team flat?
Fearless Prediction: Kyle Palmieri's crowd of 100 friends and family decide to attend this game as well, more than doubling the attendance of the game.
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.