Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Game #57 - vs Anaheim Ducks

2011-12 Game 57

Anaheim Ducks (23-24-9, 55 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (32-19-5, 69 points)

Dan, we miss your twitter feed.

Why does it matter?

It's a rare visit from the resurgent Anaheim Ducks, and one of those all-bird games (Ducks vs Penguins).  Penguins can't fly, but ducks look absolutely comical trying to take off and land.  The Ducks also have a very familiar coach - Bruce Boudreau.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Jordan Staal returns and the Pens reel off two nice wins over the weekend.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.
  • Ducks - In the middle of an eight game road trip.  They're 2-0-1 so far, and they almost ended Detroit's home winning streak.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens cool off the Ducks?  The boys from Anaheim were 10-22-6 after a loss on January 4th.  Since then they're a scorching 13-2-3.
  • Will the Pens be able to get to their game?  The Ducks recent success has been built on defense, much like what Boudreau was trying to install with the Caps.  Limiting the chances against is key, and the Ducks have been doing a good job of that.
  • Can the Pens take advantage of the big guns from the Ducks?  Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan have terrible numbers as far as +/- goes away from home this year.  Getzlaf has just two goals and is a -10 on the road.
Keys to the game
  • Get Kunitz going.  He has been doing everything right for the Pens, and now it's time to show his former team they made a mistake in trading him.
  • Special teams.  The Ducks are all over the place as far as the power play and penalty kill goes.  Convert your chances.
  • Get traffic in front of Hiller, who is playing really well right now.  I guess we could see Dan Ellis, but I'd be surprised.

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