Anaheim Ducks @ Boston Bruins
Thursday, December 15th, 2016 4:00 PM PST
Radio: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com
Your Enemy: Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Ducks run into the big Bruins for the first time this season in Boston. The Bruins will be on the tail end of a back-to-back having lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Penguins 4-3 in overtime last night.
However, this is perhaps the toughest road trip of the season for Anaheim. Even with the Bruins likely low on energy due to their schedule, this is not a team the Ducks can afford to sit back and let control the game. The Bruins will undoubtedly be playing with a chip on their shoulder after their loss. Expect the team to come out throwing their weight around and keep an uptempo pace in the opening minutes.
The Ducks will get their first look at the now-solidified reputation of the Bergeron-Marchand-Backes line as well as the offensive revelation and walking carbohydrate that is David Pastrnak.
If there’s one thing going for the Ducks, it’s that they will most likely see their old friend Anton Khudobin in net as Tuukka Rask manned the crease last night. Khudobin is a lackluster 1-4 this season with a .888 SV% and a 3.02 GAA.
The Ducks will be looking for continued production from the reinvigorated top line. Ryan Getzlaf has 13 points (4g, 9a) in 13 games played against Boston while Corey Perry has 11 points (6g, 5a) in those same 13 games.
Who stands between the pipes for the Ducks remains to be seen as John Gibson was pulled after giving up 5 goals against Dallas on Tuesday. Though defensive miscues were more responsible than Gibson’s performance, it was still enough to warrant a change as Jonathan Bernier came into the net to finish out the 3rd. Whether Randy Carlyle attempts to inject confidence back into his number one goaltender or if he turns to Bernier remains to be seen.
Expect a physical and low-scoring game as both teams attempt to use their size to create open space for offensive chances. Let’s just hope everyone gets out of this healthy and not broken into three and half pieces.