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PREVIEW: Ducks at Blackhawks (2/13/16) – A Real Test of the Team

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The Ducks head to Chicago for their final meeting of the regular season with the Blackhawks.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks played one of their worst games in over a month in Columbus on Thursday. Now they have to face what will likely be a very angry Blackhawks team after the Dallas Stars took it too them in what turned out to be a 4-2 home loss for the Hawks. The Ducks took a hit of their own against the Blue Jackets, losing Chris Stewart to a broken jaw in a fight. Ryan Getzlaf was also injured in the game, but he did return after he got his nose to finally stop bleeding. Nick Ritchie was called up from the San Diego Gulls as a replacement for Stewart, so we could possible see him playing in the top six again.

Last Games:

Ducks: Thursday, 2/11 at Columbus Blue Jackets (4-3 SOL). GameThread (if you want to relive the rage)

Blackhawks: Thursday, 2/11 vs Dallas Stars (4-2 L). Patrick Eaves' hat trick downs Chicago 4-2.

Notes:

Ducks

With Stewart being sent back to Anaheim to have his jaw looked at and fixed, we'll get to see round two of Ritchie. Whether Bruce decides to keep the current line configurations and just slot Ritchie in Stewart's place is yet to be seen. Aside from the David Perron-Getzlaf-Stewart line (and Frederik Andersen and Ryan Garbutt) everyone else in a Ducks sweater looked pretty bad. According to the Ducks website, John Gibson is expected to be back in goal. This will be his second appearance on the road trip after being completely destroyed in Pittsburgh (6-2). Gibson was the goaltender of record in the Ducks most recent 3-2 overtime loss to the Blackhawks at Honda Center. Andersen was in net the last time the Ducks were in Chicago, a 1-0 overtime decision.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks could still be without their rookie of the year candidate Artemi Panarin. He missed the Hawks' last two games with an illness, but signs are pointing to him returning to the lineup on Saturday. This could be the first game Jiri Sekac plays against the Ducks after being traded to the Blackhawks for Garbutt. Sekac has been in and out of the lineup with the Blackhawks and has no points with a minus one rating in four games. Garrett has three goals (two game-winning goals) and one assist in his eight games with the Ducks. Corey Crawford will be in net for the Blackhawks looking to rebound after 2 straight home losses.

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Two hours before faceoff we'll have the game thread up, featuring the full Stat Pack, likely with expected lineups, and of course your Numbers for Nerds.