After putting together perhaps their most complete effort since the home opener, the Ducks have a quick turnaround against a team with one of the best offenses in the Western Conference in the Stars.
Ducks: Monday, 10/26 at Chicago. "Ducks Play Best Game Of Season In OT Loss"
Stars: Saturday, 10/24 vs Florida. "Florida Panthers Defeat Dallas Stars, Winning Streak Ends"
It was splashed all over Twitter last night, but the lack of goal scoring for the Ducks through the first eight games of the season is, well, historic:
Teams with 6 goals or less in first 8 games. 1927 Pirates: 4 1928 Pirates: 4 1930 Americans: 6 2015 Ducks: 6 https://t.co/K9SfoY1HtC— Adam Gretz (@AGretz) October 27, 2015
#NHLDucks are the first team since the 1930-31 New York Americans to be shut out in 5 of their first 8 games of the season.— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) October 27, 2015
So there's that.
The deep numbers back up the positive line of analysis about the Ducks OT loss in Chicago, with Anaheim out-attempting the defending champions at even strength 45-40 and 60-47 for the game. While the Blackhawks had one more five-on-five scoring chance at 20-19 with an even 8-8 high danger count (considering how the the Ducks have hemorrhaged scoring chances and high danger scoring chances against this is an improvement), for the whole game the Ducks had more chances at 26-25 and more high danger ones 12-9. Corey Perry was a monster, finishing with the best shot attempt differential amongst forwards at +16, while generating nine attempts and seven scoring chances himself. Putting Jiri Sekac with Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg helped the line generate six scoring chances, an improvement after being primarily defensive in orientation for much of the season.
In all of this is poor Frederik Andersen, who despite posting a .940 save percentage and 1.71 goals against average in his six appearances remains without a win. Both the save percentage and goals against average are sixth best in the league. His .943 even strength save percentage is good for eighth in the league amongst starters, with only Carey Price stopping high danger shots at a higher percentage than Andersen's .917. He has been keeping Anaheim in games with the only outing one could point to as questionable being the Colorado game, now it's just up to the offense to start giving him something to backstop.
Before losing to the Panthers on Saturday, Dallas had put together a five-game winning streak with the bulk coming on the road in dispatching the Sunshine and Keystone State teams on non-consecutive nights over the span of eight days. The defeat also was their first blemish on AAC ice, where they had won their first two and outscored opponents by a 7-2 margin.
The duo of defending Art Ross winner Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have been pulling the cart offensively with a team and league-high 12 points apiece, with Benn's eight goals tops in the league. Jason Spezza is second on the team with five goals, and John Klingberg is on a four-game point streak.
Nine different Stars have scored, and 16 have picked up points. Per Mark Stepneski of Stars Inside Edge Jason Demers is out completing his two-game suspension, while Travis Moen, Curtis McKenzie, and Patrick Eaves are all out with injuries.
Two hours before face off we'll have the game thread up, featuring the full Stat Pack, likely with expected lines, and of course your Numbers For Nerds. We'll also have a Q&A feature with Defending Big D up at noon to help preview the action. Can the Ducks carry over solid play, with hopefully a better result against one of the league's early season bests?