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Ducks vs. Lightning PREVIEW: Forecast Calls for Lightning in SoCal

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The Ducks look to go undefeated against the Lightning as they play host for the final meeting this season.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Game #17

Anaheim Ducks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Time: Saturday, November 12th, 5:00PM PST

Honda Center, Anaheim CA

TV: PRIME, SUN

Radio: AM 830

The Enemy: Raw Charge


The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a strong outing against the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night, winning 4-1. The power play unit dominated (going 3 for 6) with Rickard Rakell getting 3 points and Jakob Silfverberg scoring 2 goals in 35 seconds (one even-strength). This was a much-needed win as the Ducks were coming off 4 straight losses. They are now 7-6-1 on the season as they continue to deal with injury after injury.

The Tampa Bay Lighting have seen success this trip through California with commanding back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Kings (5-2) and the San Jose Sharks (5-1). They sit on top the NHL with 28 points, going 13-2-2 on the season.

The Lightning have been one of the top stories in the NHL this season as Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have their way with teams. They both have only been held off the scoresheet twice this season. Fortunately, one of those games was against the Ducks. Anaheim will look to blank them again (this time at home) as they meet for the second (and final) time this season.

All Eyes On Me

Rickard Rakell is on a hot streak right now. He just put up his highest point production since the first game of the season, and has 7 points in his last 4 games. Ryan Getzlaf was crucial in the Ducks victory over the Lightning a few weeks ago, playing shutdown to the Stamkos-Kucherov line. With Getzlaf out, the Ducks will need every bit of Rakell’s skill and scoring ability to respond to Tampa’s offensive firepower.

Keys to the Game

Containing Tampa’s top line - not enough can be said about the Ducks keeping Stamkos and Kucherov off the score sheet in their first meeting. The two have only been scoreless twice this season, so it won’t be easy. With the slew of injuries the Ducks are dealing with, it’s unrealistic to think the Ducks can do it twice. If they can limit the top line’s scoring chances, and take advantage of getting the matchups they want (being at home and getting last change) they stand a good chance of getting the W.

Excellent goaltending - John Gibson, who was under concussion protocol, is practicing with the team again, which is a relief. Ryan Miller also left the last game with a lower-body injury and did not return. It’s unclear if either player will be ready to go for tonight’s game, but whoever is in net will need to be beyond excellent. The Ducks are the second most penalized team and the Lightning have the second best power play in the league. That’s not a great recipe for the Ducks. Anaheim’s goaltender will need to come up with some big saves throughout the game to give the Ducks a fighting chance.

Poll

How much better will Derek Grant be than Getzlaf was at shutting down Stamkos and Kucherov?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    So much better, they’ll get negative points
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    A little better
    (1 vote)
  • 75%
    Is this some kind of sick joke?
    (28 votes)
37 votes total Vote Now

GO DUCKS!!!