Anaheim Ducks (4-4-2)
In their last game, the Anaheim Ducks shut out the Los Angeles Kings. In a game where the Ducks only had 21 shots on goal, they managed a goal in the first period, and they never looked back. In the second period, Anaheim separated itself by scoring three more goals.
Throughout the game, the Ducks showed they were willing to get gritty and physical, something Pittsburgh will need to watch out for.
For Anaheim to win in front of its home crowd tonight, it will need to control the Penguins’ passing and take advantage of bad turnovers on defense — especially with netminder Matt Murray making his first start. The Ducks’ scrappy play could get under the skin of some Pittsburgh players.
Pittsburgh Penguins (6-2-1)
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had Marc-Andre Fleury in net in every game so far, and the veteran has stood his ground. But tonight, the 22-year-old Murray, the Penguins’ post-season hero, will get his first start of the season after missing games due to a hand injury suffered in the World Cup of Hockey.
Also seeing his return to the ice is defenseman Kris Letang, who has been out of the lineup after an upper-body injury. And Pittsburgh will be glad to see him back. With Murray making his first start, the Penguins will need all hands on deck on defense.
Pittsburgh will need to prevent the Ducks from getting an early advantage. Playing away from PPG Paints Area for four straight games isn’t easy, and getting rid of the crowd early in the game will help the Penguins get settled in on the West Coast.
The Ducks looked very impressive when they played the Kings, and that momentum and ability will carry over. Murray will have a great game to start his season, but the Ducks will find a way to come back from a small early deficit and sneak away with a 3-2 victory.
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
When: Wednesday, November 2 @ 10:30 p.m. EDT
Watch: FSW, ROOT
Image credit: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press