Date: Sunday, December 2nd
Time: 12:00PM PST / 3:00PM EST
Location: Capital One Arena
TV: SN, NBCSWA, PRIME
So here we are. Game five of a five-game road trip along the East Coast that has seen the Ducks win three in a row against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes because, obviously. The Ducks now sit a single point behind the Calgary Flames for the lead in the Pacific Division and will look to reclaim that top spot when they battle the Washington Capitals in a midday Sunday game in D.C.
The Capitals are on a hot streak of their own and will be looking to win their eighth straight game when they host the Ducks. The Capitals offense has been scoring at will and they are coming off a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The Ducks will certainly have their work cut out for them defensively against the high-powered offense of the Caps, complete with the constant fear that Tom Wilson may be flying in from behind you in an attempt to murder you. Luckily for him, even if he does murder you, his sentence will probably be reduced for it (if he gets one at all).
I don’t think anyone could have anticipated that the Ducks would be staring at an opportunity to claim eight out of a possible ten points on a difficult road trip against a few of the league’s top teams. The Lightning had the highest scoring offense going into their game against Anaheim and Carolina has far and away been the best possession and CF% team in the league this season. The Ducks certainly didn’t look the prettiest during these games, but they found ways to grind out the wins with the help of superhuman, demi-god, champion-of-the-people John Gibson.
Player to Watch
I will be watching Ryan Getzlaf in this game, mostly. John Gibson feels an obvious choice, but with the way the Ducks have been playing recently, I’m sure we will see plenty of John Gibson over the course of the 60 minutes of this hockey game. Ryan Getzlaf provided the spark of the overtime winner against the Hurricanes and I am hoping that his offensive production will continue against the Caps. The Ducks’ offense has always seemed to ebb and flow with Captain Dad, so I want him leading the charge offensively and shooting the puck more to create opportunities and rebounds.
Keys to the Game
Discipline - For the love of all things that you believe in, do not let the Capitals have power plays. They have a guy named Alexander Ovechkin (not sure if you’ve heard of him), but he’s pretty good on those power play things and I would just prefer if he didn’t get those chances.
Goaltending - This shouldn’t come as a surprise for Ducks fans anymore, but for an offense like the Capitals, the Ducks will need John Gibson to be 100% ready to play when this game begins. He has set the bar at a pretty ridiculous level and the Ducks need him to keep it there for this contest.
Try Not to Die - Once again, Tom Wilson will be out on the ice, because he was not punished after his match penalty saw him ejected for a nasty hit from behind on New Jersey Devils forward Brett Seney. The Ducks would be wise to keep their heads up and on a swivel when Tom is on the ice, because if your head isn’t up, you may not have one at the end of your shift.