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Ducks vs Red Wings PREVIEW: Pizza Pizza

The Ducks look to remain in the playoff race with a win against the visiting Red Wings.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

GAME # 72

Friday, March 17th, 7:00 PM PT

Honda Center


Radio: AM 830

The Enemy:

The Ducks are back in action tonight against the Detroit Red Wings in hopes of gaining another two points for their playoff push. Although the team managed to end their three-game losing streak, the Ducks remain out of a playoff spot. Anaheim’s old rival returns to Honda Center for the first time since January 2017 when the Ducks won 2-0. However, the Ducks lost their only match-up with Detroit so far this season, falling by the score of 2-1 at the new Little Caesars Arena. Anaheim is currently 35-24-12 for a total of 82 points while Detroit sits at 26-33-11 and 63 points.

Although this is Anaheim’s second to last game of the regular season against an Eastern Conference opponent, it is crucial that the Ducks pick up the win. They cannot afford to drop any more points to non-playoff teams. With only 11 games left, the Ducks need to win as many games as they can to jump into a playoff spot.

Anaheim should put together a gift basket for the NHL office in New York. Going from a matchup against the Vancouver Canucks to the Detroit Red Wings is what 2017-2018 teams dream about. For the love of the hockey gods, please do not mess this game up.

It should not be an issue for the Ducks to come out strong against an old rival, but old legs will be tested. Luckily for our gritty veterans, Detroit is on the second night of a back-to-back after playing the Los Angeles Kings. They lost to the team up the freeway 4-1 after giving up three goals in the third. Getting only 21 shots on Jonathan Quick was not enough to be competitive. The Ducks should look to replicate their uptown rival’s defensive game and shutdown what is left of Detroit’s offense.

Keys to the Game

Pass it to the Italians.

All Eyes on Me

John Gibson and Ryan Getzlaf. These guys are pretty good. They may not have the old age wisdom of a Jason Chimera (a goal and an assist last game) or Chris Kelly type, but they are pretty good at this hockey thing. These two make all the difference for the Ducks. Gibson picked up his third shutout of the season Wednesday night against the Canucks with 32 saves. The Ducks need this kind of goaltending for the rest of the regular season if they want to stay close to the red hot Los Angeles Kings.

Although Ryan Getzlaf did not pick up a point in Wednesday’s game, he continues to make all of his linemates better. Sometimes I wish I could play a week in the NHL on his line because I’m sure I would get at least one gift goal. The Captain is that good at finding the open man. As the great Michael Scott once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretzky. Getzlaf does not take that literally and interprets that as passes. Whatever gets the job done.

Oh, and Justin Abdelkader is on my fantasy team. Please fight Kesler or something.