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PREVIEW: Ducks @ Devils (10/18/16): So Close

Another home opener, another opportunity to get in the win column.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Game #4

Anaheim Ducks @ New Jersey Devils

Tuesday October 18, 2016 4:00 PM PST

Prudential Center

TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket

Radio: AM 830,

Your Enemy: All About The Jersey

The Ducks enter Tuesday’s match-up against the New Jersey Devils fresh off a point that they may or may not have deserved. The team will look for that elusive first win against another winless team. The Devils currently sit second to last in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 0-1-1. Don’t think that this will be an easy game, however, as the Ducks get to take part in yet another home opener on the this grueling road trip. New Jersey will no doubt be extra motivated playing in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.

A point is a point. We all know this. Given the way the Ducks played against the Islanders on Saturday, the team was lucky to get out of New York with that point. Thanks to Ryan Getzlaf’s late game heroics, Anaheim has the proud distinction of not being last in the division (pauses for laughter at the Kings to die down). In light of this, the Ducks will be focusing on tightening up the defensive play in their own end. With the exception of Cam Fowler (a whopping 63.5 CF%; those are Lindholm numbers. I’m not crying, you’re crying) every Ducks defenseman was either average or well below average at even strength Corsi% on Sunday.

On a related note, Fowler has looked like the Ducks best player through the first 3 games of the season. Currently sitting just behind Getzlaf for the team lead in scoring, Fowler (2g+1a=3p) is looking like either a more and more attractive trade piece or a more and more indispensable part of the Ducks blue line depending on which side of Bob Murray’s brain you ask. Look for Fowler to continue to lead the Ducks tonight as they work out their issues on the ice.

The Ducks will need to figure out a way to beat Cory Schneider in net for New Jersey. Schneider’s first two games for the Devils have mirrored his career: a good SV% (.926) despite a mediocre GAA (2.48). This means that more than likely, simply putting shots on net will not be enough. The Ducks will have to gel with the new Carlyle systems and find ways to avoid the blocked shot frenzy the Islanders unleashed against the team on Sunday. Opening shooting lanes from high danger areas will be a top priority to beat the defensive-minded Devils.