With the six game point streak snapped in ugly fashion to end a stretch of six of seven at home, the Anaheim Ducks open their four games in six nights road trip with the front end of a back-to-back facing the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hurricanes: Saturday, 11/14 vs Philadelphia. "Another Come-From-Ahead Loss"
Perhaps the most noteworthy intra-organizational roster moves of the season happened in successive days, with Nick Ritchie and Michael Sgarbossa getting the call up from San Diego, while Chris Wagner was placed on waivers and subsequently claimed by Colorado. Ritchie's nine goals in 12 Gulls games are tied for second most in the league and was second on the team in scoring with an additional three helpers for a point-per-game pace. Sgarbossa has two goals and six assists over 12 games, with both goals coming against the San Jose Barracuda on November 7; he's tied with Shea Theodore for fifth on the team in scoring. Defenseman the Brandon Montour leads San Diego with 15 points from three goals and a tied for third in the league 12 assists.
Everybody's favorite Worm, Corey Perry, has put up points in seven of the last nine games, while scoring goals in four of the last six. He's vaulted in to the team scoring lead, putting four points distance between himself and Rickard Rakell, who has two goals and five assists. After that it's a four-way tie for third with Ryan Kesler, Chris Stewart, Sami Vatanen, and Hampus Lindholm each with six points apiece. The Ducks are still waiting on Jakob Silfverberg and fellow countryman Carl Hagelin to break out; each sit with two points apiece, tied for lowest amongst forwards who have appeared in a majority of the team's games this year.
If two struggling offenses face each other, someone has to score, right? The Ducks remain in the basement of the league averaging 1.65 goals per game, while Carolina is 28th with an even two goals per game mark. However the trend has been better for Anaheim in the month of November, as the team has put up 2.71 tallies per game, while today's hosts have been held to 1.83 red lights lit per contest in the same calendar period.
For all of the disappointment about the Ducks two home overtime losses to Arizona and Edmonton, Carolina has an extra level of hurt to their two most recent games. Both times the Hurricanes jumped out to 2-0 leads, but were unable to hold on and ended up losing in the five minute pond hockey session. First against Minnesota the Canes jumped out to the advantage 8:17 into play before allowing the equalizer in the second period, then against Philadelphia the 2-0 edge arrived at the six minute mark of the second period before the leveler came with just under three minutes to play. The Wild scored with 1:10 to play in the extra session, while the Flyers ended it just 37 seconds in.
Though Anaheim's power play has been improving in recent games (don't look now but the Ducks have hit the back of the net in five of the last six contests on the man advantage) don't expect many opportunities to see it against the Hurricanes. Carolina is the least penalized team in the league, having been shorthanded just 35 times this season, and a second lowest 15 infractions-against at home. Nathan Gerbe is the Hurricanes 'goon' with 10 penalty minutes in 17 games; for comparison, Ducks PIM leader Clayton Stoner has 33 in 14 games.
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.