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Ducks vs. Hurricanes PREVIEW: Storm Surging Ahead

Anaheim looks to keep their home streak alive against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Game 8

Date: Friday October 18th, 2019

Time: 7:00 PM PT

Location: Honda Center, Anaheim

TV: ESPN+, Prime

Radio: AM 830

Your Enemy: Canes Country

The Anaheim Ducks are flying high from Wednesday night’s goal-tastic performance, giving the Buffalo Sabres their first regulation 5-2 regulation loss on home ice. The Ducks were able to dismantle the Sabres’ early lead after the first with some physical and speedy plays. Perhaps we don’t really know what this Ducks team is made up of as of yet and how far they will go—but what we do know for now is that they sure can make hockey fun to watch.

Speaking of fun to watch, the Carolina Hurricanes were all the rage last season with their amazingly creative approach to a victory lap. And it made them a better team—at their hot start of the 2019-20 season, they were projected to be atop the Metropolitan league. But Hurricanes may be slowing down as they dropped their second game 5-2 in their last three to the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night on the road. Evander Kane was able to score a hatty within the first period and the Canes were just unable to dig themselves out of the deficit. They were hampered by their lack of discipline that led to multiple power play goals for the Sharks.

Keys to the Game

  1. Stay disciplined and out of the penalty box - This will apply to both teams as both the Canes and the Ducks are coming off games that were hampered by penalties, penalties that allowed for the opponents’ man-advantage. Both teams are showing an aggressive style of play which inevitably leads to penalties at times. That being said, the Ducks have the room to improve on this front (talking to you Nick Ritchie), to not take stupid or uncalled for penalties that only puts the team at an unnecessary disadvantage.
  2. Special Teams - Like I mentioned atop, the Carolina Hurricanes are not exactly the most disciplined of teams, averaging 4.87 penalties per game. The Ducks currently average 4.86 penalties per game. This game may end up being a steady march to the penalty box so it will be crucial for the Ducks’ special teams to execute during the man advantage.
  3. Goaltending - Both teams’ goaltenders have been hot. Gibby is 4-2 and posting a 1.85 GAA and a .941 save %. The Hurricanes may be turning to Petr Mrazek after Reimer got the start on Wednesday. Mrazek is 4-0 and posting a 1.94 GAA and a .919 save %.

Players to Watch

Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and two assists on Wednesday. He exceeded expectations last season in an effort to provide justification for his contract extension. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of offensive role he will find in Eakins’ system now that he’s been freed of the shutdown line of past seasons.

On the Hurricanes, outside of Dougie Hamilton, one of the primary contributors to the Canes’ hot start is 19-year old Andrei Svechnikov. The right-winger has one goal, seven assists and a +6 rating. Sebastian Aho has yet to break out this season, having posted only three points thus far. But knowing that he is capable of netting 30 goals and 83 points last season, the Ducks need to make sure to keep him cold by containing his presence.