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Panthers @ Ducks Preview: Short and Sweet, Must Win

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The Ducks were dealt a pretty big blow against San Jose this week, but the schedule ahead is seemingly kind starting tonight with a visit from the Florida Panthers.

There are virtually no pictures containing active Panthers and Ducks together.
There are virtually no pictures containing active Panthers and Ducks together.

The Florida Panthers are coming off an afternoon loss yesterday against the Los Angeles Kings. The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a loss against the San Jose Sharks earlier in the week. Although the Ducks had a chance to win two points on the road after going ahead in the third, the team couldn’t contain the Sharks speed and high pressure attack.

Keys to the Game: The Ducks need to win games and shape their game into form for the postseason. Although the team has some suspect underlying statistics, they have a chance to begin boosting them with an upcoming schedule of teams outside the playoffs. These are the teams the Ducks absolutely need to beat—barring wins, they should dominate games. Tonight’s game against the Panthers is the first game (against a tired team) in the stretch of those in which we need to see better performances.

What Can We Learn From this Game: The Ducks should dominate play in this contest. In the previous matchup between the two clubs, Anaheim carried the play but was bested by a hot goaltender. Roberto Luongo started for the Cats against the Kings—if he goes again, the Ducks need to test him early and often.

Fearless Prediction: To celebrate both teams’ 20th anniversary of participation in the NHL, the game is canceled for a BBQ cook-off, winner gets the two points.

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.