Saturday, April 7th, 6:00PM PST
Gila River Arena
TV: Prime, NHL.TV
Radio: AM 830
The Enemy: Five For Howling
The end of the season is finally here. Anaheim will wrap it up just as it started, with a matchup against the Arizona Coyotes. This will be the fourth game against Arizona with the Ducks winning two of the first three meetings. Although the Coyotes are looking toward next season, the Ducks still have something to play for. The possibility of earning home-ice in the first round is still alive as long as they can win and receive some help from a San Jose Sharks’ loss in regulation.
This will be the latter of a back-to-back for the Ducks who are coming off a 5-3 win against the Dallas Stars. Anaheim was led by Jakob Silfverberg, who tallied one goal and two assists, and also received goals from Derek Grant, Rickard Rakell, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano. Ryan Miller managed 23 saves in another solid start for the injured John Gibson. The Ducks are now 9-1-1 in their last 11 games, 16-5-2 in their last 23 games, and 24-10-4 since their bye week.
The Arizona Coyotes are coming off a 4-3 OT loss against the Vancouver Canucks, which was a fantastic farewell to the Sedin twins. Arizona will be wrapping up a rather disappointing season with a record of 29-40-12, which puts them in last place in the Pacific. For how poor their season has been, they have been playing better recently with a 4-1-1 record in their last 6 games and 11-6-2 overall in their last 19 games.
All Eyes On Me
Rickard Rakell will once again finish the regular season as the Ducks leading goal scorer. He currently has 33 goals marking his second consecutive 30 goal season as well as 67 points overall, which is a career high and also leads the team. In his last 5 games, Rakell has 2 goals and 2 assists.
Keys To The Game
As the Ducks still have something to play for, it will be interesting to see who Randy Carlyle elects to put into net. Ryan Miller will be coming off 26 shots faced and would be starting on back-to-back nights which is a challenge for any goalie. The alternative would be Reto Berra who has only played in 5 games this season and started just one. I would expect Miller to be in net and either get pulled if the Ducks trail early, or if they end up getting a sizeable lead.
Another key will be special teams. The Ducks need to stop taking stupid penalties. It’s a continuing problem as the Ducks shoot themselves in the foot constantly by taking terrible penalties in critical moments. Nick Ritchie is the main culprit. He is second on the team in total penalties with 28 trailing only Kevin Bieksa who has 30. Needless to say that's not the best company to be compared to. Nick Ritchie this message is for you: STOP BEING A BONEHEAD AND TAKING PENALTIES! For the Ducks to be successful in the playoffs, he’s going to need to be more disciplined.
Which team would you like the Ducks to face in the first round?
This poll is closed
Los Angeles Kings
Vegas Golden Knights
San Jose Sharks