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Ducks @ Devils PREVIEW: Give The Devil His Due

Adam Henrique faces his former team, the New Jersey Devils, for the first time since the trade.

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

Game #34

Anaheim Ducks @ New Jersey Devils

Monday, December 18th, 4:00 PM PST

Prudential Center


Radio: AM 830,

Your Enemy: All About the Jersey

The Anaheim Ducks are coming off another 3-2 OT loss against the Washington Capitals—how many times have you heard that this season? In summary, with John Gibson backstopping the net, the Ducks looked strong two-thirds through the game. They managed to earn a 2-goal lead moving into the third. Unfortunately, as we have already seen many times this season, Randy Carlyle’s gameplan for the last 20 minutes was to settle on turtle defense. So as the story goes, the Caps came back fast and furious, putting two up in the third. Then there was Ovechkin in OT. Scratch that—there were the Ducks in OT. 3-2 loss. End of story.

The Enemy

The New Jersey Devils are 4-1 in their last five after trouncing the Dallas Stars on home ice. But the winning record doesn’t really mean too much because every game is a fresh slate right? Yeah, well the Devils will also be coming off 2 days of rest and have had a knack of making visiting teams miserable at the Prudential Center this season.

Despite being in one of the most arguably competitive divisions of this season, the New Jersey Devils have been very good on the road and at home—to the point that they stand second in the Metro Division. They have vastly improved offensively with the addition of young talent, including Taylor Hall. Ray Shero and Co. has built a team that is young and moving forward.

New Jersey has had a recent bout of injuries, but they welcome good news with the returns of Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri on Monday night. Marcus Johansson is still questionable for a Monday night return with defenseman Mirco Mueller out until next year.

So here’s the deal

Despite the OT losses, the Anaheim Ducks have managed to collect points in each of the past seven games (3-0-4). But the Anaheim Ducks are 1-5 in their last five road games. Which does not bode well considering this is one of the most significant roadies of the season. The Anaheim Ducks are also 0 for 7 in their last seven when their opponent allows 2 goals or less. Meaning they need to do a lot more than score two goals and then try to defend their way through the last quarter of the game. Anyone who watches the Ducks knows that the defense is in no way good enough to defend the lead. The Ducks excel when they are on the forecheck—increasing momentum. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE HOCKEY GODS, WE ARE NOT THE ANAHEIM TURTLES. STOP THAT TURTLING SH**. And stop leaving Gibby hanging to dry. He’s good, but it’d be nice if he got some amount of support.

Some Notes:

This will be the first time newly acquired Duck Adam Henrique will be facing his former team. The trade definitely benefit both teams—the Ducks needed the center to fuel the deficit along the middle due to injuries. The New Jersey Devils acquired Sami Vatanen, who will is a younger veteran with offensive capabilities. It is to be seen if Joseph Blandisi will also get some time against his former team.