Thursday, February 9th, 2016 4:00 PM PST
Radio: AM 830, AnaheimDucks.com
Your Enemy: Die By The Blade
The Ducks continue their lengthy 6-game road trip taking on the Buffalo Sabres tonight.
The Sabres have been relatively inconsistent in their play this season, but that's a massive step up from where they have been in the last few seasons. Their young talent paired with the leadership of captain Ryan O'Reilly have them buoyed only 5 points out of the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres are led by ex-Islander Kyle Okposo with 34 points (17G, 17A). Young phenom Jack Eichel has somewhat taken a backseat in the headlines since his draft year that caused a tank frenzy in the NHL two years ago mostly due to injuries that have led to him missing fairly significant chunks of time.
Which is unfortunate, because the 20 year old is currently only 10 points behind Okposo while playing 20 fewer games. If Eichel can stay healthy, there's no reason he shouldn't thrust himself back in to the NHL young stud conversation along with McDavid and Matthews.
Robin Lehner will get the start tonight. Lehner has been quietly putting together a good season on a mediocre Sabres team with a .923 SV%.
The Ducks, meanwhile, will be looking for their first win on the trip. They have only come away with one point so far out of a possible six. Luckily, the Ducks remain in 2nd in the Pacific Division thanks to similar play from the Oilers who are right behind them.
Randy Carlyle will be looking for increased offense from some radically altered lines tonight. This lineup is actually an interesting combination with potential as it essentially creates 4 lines that have scoring ability. It remains to be seen how long these lines will last, but a radically different approach worked at times for Boudreau last year, so why not try it now?
Sami Vatanen is expected to miss his third straight game tonight. His status is still questionable at this time but it sounds like the Ducks coaching staff is relatively optimistic that he will not be out for very long.
John Gibson gets the start in net tonight as expected. Gibson played a phenomenal game on Tuesday only to get absolutely no help from his offense. He's arguably been the best player on the ice recently, so the Ducks will be looking to rally around him to get back on the winning track.
|ANAHEIM DUCKS||versus||BUFFALO SABRES|
|28-17-10, 66 Pts||Record||22-21-10, 54 Pts|
|2nd in Pacific, 10th in NHL||Standings||6th in Atlantic, 25th in NHL|
|20.7% (12th)||Power Play||23% (3rd)|
|84.4% (5th)||Penalty Kill||73.7% (29th)|
|Rickard Rakell (21G)||Goals||Kyle Okposo (17G)|
|Ryan Getzlaf (31A)||Assists||Rasmus Ristolainen (27A)|
|Ryan Kesler (42P)||Points||Okposo (34P)|
|Kesler (7PPG)||PPG||Matt Moulson (9PPG)|
|Andrew Cogliano (2SHG)||SH||Brian Gionta (1SHG)|
|Cam Fowler (24:54), Kesler (21:41)||TOI/GP (D&F)||Ristolainen (27:07), Ryan O'Reilly (21:37))|
|Cogliano (54.58), Hampus Lindholm (53.90)||SAT% 5on5 (F&D)||Cody Franson (50.67), O'Reilly (50.38),|
|John Gibson||GOALIES||Robin Lehner|
How many goals will Perry score this season?
This poll is closed
9. He's broken. Find the warranty info.