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Ducks v. Golden Knights Preview: Back to Business

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Ducks look to bounce back at home post-holiday break

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a while since we’ve seen any Ducks hockey—four days to be exact. Fortunately the holiday break is over and NHL is back in action. The Anaheim Ducks will be be taking on their Pacific division rival, the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at Honda Center at 7pm.

Here’s a brief recap of how each team stands going into the holidays....

The Vegas Golden Knights (20-14-6) are leading the Pacific division (in tandem with the Arizona Coyotes). They are coming out of the break 1-1-1 in their last three games with only two losses in their past six outings (4-1-1).

Anaheim, on the other hand, went into the holidays hobbling and riddled with injuries (and the flu). The east coast roadtrip (one that I flew out to follow) was not so kind to them. They flew back to Orange County after finishing 1-3-0. The last game in Manhattan against the New York Rangers was a dismal 5-1 loss as the Ducks had to sit Ryan Getzlaf (flu), Jakob Silfverberg (flu) and Rickard Rakell (upper body injury). And that was in addition to Derek Grant, Troy Terry and Nick Ritchie, who are all currently on injured reserve. We can only assume the Ducks were thankful for the timing of the holiday break.

Players to Watch

It will be interesting to see who the Knights choose to start in net post-Christmas break. This year has been a bit of a bumpy ride when it comes to Vegas goaltending. The primary culprit through a quarter of the season was attributed to poor play from the back-up goaltenders. Near the end of November, Malcolm Subban, Garret Sparks and Oscar Dansk combined for just two points after seven appearances, posting a dismal .873 SV%. But then things flip-flopped at the end of November. Fleury has been struggling in his last six starts, posting a .881 SV% and having a 3.68 GAA; Subban on the otherhand saw a resurgence with a .929 SV% and a 2.24 GAA. We’ll see if the holiday break resets Vegas’ goaltending or if it picks up right where it left off.

On the Ducks side of things, the player to to watch is Ducks prospect Trevor Zegras who is currently playing on Team USA in the WJC.

Filthy. Go USA.

Puck drops at 7pm PST tonight at Honda Center.