Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM PT
Location: American Airlines Center
Radio: AM 830
Your Enemy: Defending Big D
This game has been circled on the Ducks calendar since July 1st. It’s also been circled on the Stars’ calendar since that day.
Tonight, the Anaheim Ducks face off against a Dallas Stars team with some very familiar faces. This will be the first time the team will take on Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry as opponents. Cogliano was traded to the Stars for Devin Shore in January last season, while Corey Perry was bought out from his contract and subsequently signed a one-year deal with Dallas on the first day of free agency.
Both Perry and Cogliano told The Athletic’s Eric Stephens that they have been looking forward to this day since the NHL schedule came out. The lead-up will certainly be strange from them, but once they hit the ice, expect both to come out firing against their old team.
After a 1-7-1 start to the season, the Stars have begun to rebound with two straight wins in an attempt to bury a hellish start. Perry was held off the scoresheet in his first two games off of a fractured foot just before preseason, but scored his first goal of the season and added two assists in his third game.
The ever-healthy Cogliano has played in all 11 games for Dallas so far this season, but has only registered a single assist. Expect some extra motivation for both him and Perry as they try to burn their old team.
Meanwhile, the Ducks have hit a bump in losing their last two games against the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators. They have had strong 5v5 play over those two losses, but special teams and relatively poor goaltending have been the difference makers over that period.
Look for Anaheim to find ways to finish the chances they have been generating but not converting. Expect to see Nicolas Deslauriers out of the lineup and both Max Comtois as well as Max Jones return.
Dallas Eakins also confirmed that defenseman Brendan Guhle would return to the lineup after missing the last five games with a mid-body injury. Michael Del Zotto will come out of the lineup to make room.
As long as the Ducks can cut down on the penalties and continue generating their chances, they should have shot.
Keys To The Game
Finish those chances: The Ducks have generated 58% of the high danger scoring chances over their last two losses according to Natural Stat Trick. Troy Terry and Sam Steel have been driving play at a rate that should see them start to rack up points if they continue. Ryan Getzlaf has looked better and better with each passing game. As soon as these chances start going in, the wins will follow.
Goaltending rebound: Ryan Miller and John Gibson have combined to post an .880 SV% over the Ducks last two games. They’re not going to be stellar every game, but this is also out of character for the league’s best goaltender and one of the league’s best backups. If they can settle their game rebound towards league average, they’ll give their team a chance to win.