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Matchup: Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Ducks
Venue: Honda Center; Anaheim, CA
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Television: Detroit- FS-D; Anaheim- FS-Prime Ticket
The Detroit Red Wings (15-11-5, 35 points, 7th place Western Conference) started off their four game west coast trip in the best possible fashion when they dismantled the Anaheim Ducks (22-4-4, 48 points, 2nd place Western Conference) 5-1 Friday night. The highlight of the game was Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader completing the hat trick at the 12:46 mark of the SECOND period. The hat trick was the first of Abdelkader’s career. Another notable highlight was Pavel Datsyuk who recorded his 500th NHL assist and 250th career goal in the game. The powerplay was effective on the road for the Red Wings once again as they recorded a powerplay goal in their fourth straight road game and sixth straight game overall. Jimmy Howard was excellent in goal for the Red Wings once again and improved his career record against the Ducks to 8-3-1.
The Ducks will be looking for revenge tonight in the second game of this rare back to back set which sees the Red Wings and Ducks play in Anaheim in two consecutive games. The Ducks could not muster much offense Friday night and Howard’s play in net did nothing to help that by stopping 33 of the 34 shots he faced. The only bright spot of the game the other night was Teemu Selanne who scored his 24th career goal against the Red Wings. The loss for the Ducks ended their 13 game home winning streak and also snapped their streak of at least one point in 12 straight games. The Ducks will surely have that in their minds tonight and will surely play a lot more competitive and stronger game than on Friday night. Their season record and streaks are indicative that they will not fold up once again and go away quietly two games in a row especially to the same team twice in three nights.
The Red Wings will continue to ride the strong play of Jimmy Howard in net tonight, and why not as he has not allowed more than three goals in 12 of his past 13 games and has a record of 7-3-3 in those 13 games. After Viktor Fasth‘s performance in net Friday night, it would be a shocker if the Ducks went with him in net again in tonight’s game. As of right now, expect to see Jonas Hiller starting for the Ducks tonight. In his career, Hiller is 3-6-1 with a .917 save percentage and 2.86 GAA in 11 games against the Red Wings. Do not expect to see any major changes for the Red Wings in terms of players scratched because why change something if it’s going good?
Players To Watch:
- Justin Abdelakder recorded his first career hat trick Friday night against the Ducks and it will be interesting to see what he does for an encore presentation. In his career, Abdelkader has recorded 5 points (4 goals, 1 assist) in 11 games against the Ducks.
- Pavel Datsyuk reached career milestone’s in assists and goals in Friday night’s game and seems to do something new that’s spectacular every time he hits the ice. He will be looking for points in the third straight game against the Duck’s this season and continue his career dominance over them.
- Bobby Ryan is one of Anaheim’s young but very talented players. He is having a nice season this year and has tallied 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in 30 games played this season. In his career, Ryan has accumulated 10 points (7 goals, 3 assists) in 18 games against the Red Wings.
- Daniel Winnik has been a nice surprise for the Ducks this season, posting 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 23 games. In 84 games last season (yes that is correct, he played in 84 games last year) he recorded only 23 points all season long.
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