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Ducks @ Penguins Preview: Three, let’s make it four

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Game 2 on the road trip. 3-0 heading in. 4-0 heading out? Numbers.

Game 4

Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Time: 4:00 PM PT

Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

TV: Prime Ticket

Radio: AM830

Your Enemy: Pensburgh


DUCKS OBSERVATIONS

Ducks are coming off a very nice, team building win against the once (still?) hated Detroit Red Wings. That game was another feather in the cap for the one and only John Gibson who was forced to play a little more like 2018/2019 John Gibson. The Red Wings took it to the Ducks in the first period, but Gibby stood tall. The team responded well to an early start on the road against a some-what hot Detroit team. Head Coach Dallas Eakins praised Gibson’s ability and leadership in this quote from an Eric Stephens’ article from The Athletic:

“I can’t imagine anything better for a team,” Eakins said. “That kid is so dialed in. And the amount of leadership that is oozing off of him. During the last timeout, he was over at the bench. He had already gone over what they were looking at six-on-five and now he was reminding our guys. We didn’t have to say a word. That’s when you know guys are dialed in and the leadership just coming out of him.

“John Gibson’s got a massive amount of leadership skills in him. And he’s the best goalie in the game.”

In the same article, Jakob Silfverberg spoke of captain Ryan Getzlaf doing captain things by reminding the team to keep their cool while facing their first real adversity this season.

“This definitely strengthens the group,” said Jakob Silfverberg, who delivered the coup de grace with a successful snap shot. And I think it was Getzy that said it. I don’t know if it was first or second intermission, but (he said), ‘Hey, let’s not panic. This is the first time that we faced a little bit of adversity this year. This is going to be a great lesson. Let’s just go out there and play. Let’s do the little things right. You can’t start looking at the big picture. You can’t start looking at the score or who’s going to score. Just go out there and do all the little things right. Things will take care of itself.’”

Ducks are now 3-0 on the season and will be looking to continue building on the foundation Coach Eakins established.

PENGUINS OBSERVATIONS

The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading into this one a bit hobbled both on the injury and gameplay front. It is not just that they have players who are injured; it is the caliber/importance of the guys injured. That list includes: Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust.

Hard to say the Ducks are road favorites in this one especially considering the Penguins still have the best player in the league a player named Sidney Crosby, but the Pens will be of a big disadvantage due to injuries and a red hot John Gibson. Much like the oft injured Ducks of years past, they will need patch their lines together and see if they can pull to .500 on the season as they are sitting at 1-2.

THINGS TO WATCH

- John Gibson in his home town used to sound scary to Ducks fans, but Gibby has only played ok to well there in the recent seasons. But he is just so dialed in right now. Per always, will be fun to watch.

- Which of the young guns get their first goal of the season? Troy Terry? Max Jones? Isac Lundestrom? The Ducks “kids” have played well from a possession perspective, but have yet to reap those rewards. Last game saw Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell get their first goals on the year. Let’s see if the kids can follow suit.

- Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm vs the Pens top line (projected) of Jake Guentzel, Dominik Simon and Sidney Crosby. This season has seen Dallas Eakins using Manson/Hampus in the “tough” match ups and while that has led not great possession or production numbers, the top pair is obviously holding their own as the Ducks have only allowed three goals in as many games (John Gibson would like a word…). Keep an eye on how they fair against Sid and crew.

- Ducks fans get a chance to watch Marcus Pettersson again. The well-known trade for right winger Daniel Sprong last season has paid off well for the Pens as Pettersson settled in well in Pitt last season. He is on their projected second pair and it will be interesting seeing him play against his old (but young) teammates.

Puck drops tonight at 4:00PM PST.