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Ducks @ Senators PREVIEW/GAMETHREAD: Almost Time for Fruitcake

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Anaheim finishes their pre-Christmas roadie in Ottawa, looking avoid going into the break on a 2-game losing streak.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

GAME #35

Anaheim Ducks @ Ottawa Senators

Thursday December 22nd, 2016 4:30 PM PST

Canadian Tire Centre

TV: PRIME

RADIO: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com

Your Enemy: Silver Seven

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Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays! Tonight will be the last bit of Ducks hockey we'll get until next Tuesday so fingers crossed that this game doesn't leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Anaheim has the opportunity tonight to sweep the season series against the Senators for the second year in a row. Anaheim looked dominant in a 5-1 win over the Sens just two weeks ago. However, the Sens have looked a lot better since that game in Anaheim, going 3-0-1 in their last four games (beat NJD, NYI, CHI). The Sens also find themselves second in the Atlantic Division behind Montreal. This will be a good test for the Ducks.

Unable to string together consecutive wins on their roadtrip, Anaheim needs a win tonight to go 3-3 on the trip. A lackluster performance in Montreal on Tuesday saw Anaheim get absolutely dominated in the possession battle. Not a single Ducks skater was over 38% in SAT% (corsi for) in the game against Montreal. So not only was Anaheim not getting shots on goal against Montreal (the team finished the game with a measly 13 shots on goal), but they were just straight up getting dominated territorially by the Habs. That game was one of the worst Anaheim has bplayed all season. And while I am willing to give Anaheim a little bit of credit considering they were playing on the back end of back-to-backs, that in no way excuses the terrible effort they had on Tuesday. Anaheim needs to have a big showing tonight if they want to go into the Christmas break with anything more than a whimper.

This all starts with the stars. Getzlaf had a good start to the roadtrip, recording 2 goals and 3 assists in the first four games of the roadie. Corey Perry, on the other hand, has gone cold. A stellar start to the month of December which saw the former Hart Trophy winner score 3 goals and 5 assists in a 6-game stretch has disappeared as Perry has no points in Anaheim's last four games. If Anaheim wants to head back to SoCal on a positive note, the Twins need to lead by example tonight.

At the other end of the ice, the Senators keep plodding along at a solid pace. Having won their last 3 games in a row, Ottawa will be riding high coming into this game against Anaheim. Anaheim's 5-1 win against the Sens on December 11 will still be fresh in their minds and this is the perfect opportunity for the Sens to exact a bit of revenge. Led as always by perennial Norris Trophy candidate Erik Karlsson (7G, 24A, 31P), Ottawa is sitting pretty near the top of the East. Also, with the combination of Craig Anderson and Mike Condon playing well in the back end, Ottawa is just finding ways to win. While you can make the argument that Ottawa could be due to regress a bit due to a higher than average team SV%, I honestly have every reason to believe this team will keep up the consistent pace they have set. The combination of good goaltending, great veteran skaters, and talented youth tells me Ottawa could be here to stay. Let's just hope Anaheim team that played 2 weeks ago shows up tonight.

Numbers For Nerds

Anaheim's all-time record against the Senators is pretty good (21-11-3). But, since defeating the Sens in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, the Ducks have absolutely dominated the series. In the 12 games played between these clubs since the 2007 Finals, Anaheim is 9-2-1 averaging 2.91 goals for and just 2.16 goals against in that stretch.

Poll

Who should've won the Norris Trophy last year?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Erik Karlsson
    (11 votes)
  • 5%
    Eric, Carl's Son
    (1 vote)
  • 29%
    Not Drew Doughty
    (5 votes)
17 votes total Vote Now