Anaheim has had a tough season, especially over the last 25 games. The Ducks are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games, and that’s an improvement compared to how things were in the previous 10. The team has limited high-danger chances against since general manager Bob Murray took over behind the bench, but winning has been a rarity and scoring has been even harder to come by.
That being said, the Ducks are still a competitive hockey team and have gotten solid goaltending in recent games. John Gibson will return to the crease tonight, and while he hasn’t earned a win against Vegas this year, he never makes life easy.
The new-look second line for the Knights will get its first test of road hockey as Mark Stone plays in his third game as a Golden Knight. He is pointless through two games but has recorded nine shots and six takeaways, and the line’s possession numbers are off the charts. That won’t last forever, as it’s only been two games, but it’s still something to be excited about.
Reilly Smith had his first two-goal game of the season last night, scoring a between-the-legs beauty that helped jumpstart Vegas’ comeback in a must-win game. The Knights are just six points ahead of the Coyotes for the third seed in the Pacific Division, so every point counts.
The Ducks will be without captain Ryan Getzlaf once again, so look for Adam Henrique to center the top line between Corey Perry and Daniel Sprong. Rickard Rakell will skate on the second line with Devin Shore and Jakob Silfverberg, who recently agreed to terms on a five-year, $26.25 million extension that will become official tomorrow.
Here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Pacioretty — Stastny — Stone
Carpenter — Eakin — Tuch
Nosek — Bellemare — Reaves
Schmidt — Engelland
McNabb — Theodore
Merrill — Miller
Sprong (#11) — Henrique (#14) — Perry (#10)
Rakell (#67) — Shore (#29) — Silfverberg (#33)
Jones (#49) — Grant (#38) — Terry (#61)
Ritchie (#37) — Kesler (#17) — Rowney (#24)
Lindholm (#47) — Manson (#42)
Guhle (#) — Fowler (#4)
Megna (#43) — Holzer (#5)