Ottawa Senators @ Anaheim Ducks
Wednesday, December 6th, 7:00 PM PST
TV: FS-W, RDS
Radio: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com
Your Enemy: Silver Seven Sens
The Anaheim Ducks will finally be back home after their six-game road trip ended with a 4-3 defeat against the Vegas Golden Knights in a shootout at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday night. They will be hosting the Ottawa Senators, one of the few teams in the NHL that has seen just about as many struggles as the Ducks in the last few weeks.
The Senators are 2-7-1 in their last ten games and currently sit at 9-10-6 overall on the season. Their last game resulted in a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the white-hot Winnipeg Jets, so it can be expected that the Senators will be looking for a quick start to build momentum early against Anaheim.
With the Ducks shootout loss in Vegas, they have now dropped 7 of their last 8 games. Anaheim needs to find a way to win games, despite not having many of their best players available due to the curses that the hockey gods have bestowed upon Orange County. Getting to the overtime period is all fine and dandy, but the Ducks have to start finding ways to get that second point; otherwise, they may find themselves on the outside looking in come the end of the regular season.
All Eyes on Me
I would not normally say that all eyes should be on more than one player, but I will be making an exception for this game. With Rickard Rakell returning to the Anaheim lineup on Tuesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights, I will be watching the leaders of the top-line-to-be for Anaheim in this game. Rickard Rakell played with Adam Henrique and Corey Perry at T-Mobile Arena, and that looked to be one of the better lines of the night for the Ducks next to the Nick Ritchie, Antoine Vermette, and Ondrej Kase line. Anaheim will need them to continue to push the pace and generate chances if the Ducks are going to kick off their three-game homestand with a victory.
Keys to the Game
1. Manage the Pace - Whenever a team is facing a back-to-back situation, it is important to stay aware of potential fatigue issues arising late in the second half of those back-to-backs. If the Ducks can control the play early and keep the Senators on their heels, they should be able to avoid falling behind and needing a late comeback.
2. Exploit the Blue Line - Ottawa has been struggling defensively and has given up five goals in four of their last six games. The Ducks need to find a way to create quality scoring chances and get pucks into the net, considering their own blue line has been equally questionable recently. This one could be high-scoring.
3. Try Not to Give Up Two Goals in 16 Seconds - Yeah, don’t do that.