Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Washington returns to Anaheim for the first time since Alex Ovechkin recorded his first career hat trick and led the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the "Mighty Ducks" in 2006. The teams have only met once since then, with Anaheim blowing out the Washington 6-1 at the Verizon Center.
Anaheim (10-7-2) is 6-2-2 in their last 10, but just 1-2-1 on their current five-game home stand. Their only win came against their rival to the north, the Los Angeles Kings. Rookie goalie, Jonas Hiller recorded his first NHL shutout in the Ducks' 2-0 win. Hiller is now 3-1-1/2.18/.926 on the year.
The Ducks have uncharacteristically struggled at home where they are 5-5-2. They have already lost more than half of the home games they lost all of last year when they went 28-9-4 and led the league in victories at home.
The Capitals should press in the 1st period, and when they score first, Washington is 6-2-2. In addition, the Ducks are just 1-5 when trailing first. It's going to be tough keeping Anaheim scoreless seeing how they are in the top six in the league for goals in the first period and goals for in the second period.
Anaheim is statistically the most undisciplined team in the NHL, committing 146 penalties, 11 more than the closest team. That, added with the fact that they are tied for the most goals conceded on the power play, should work well for Washington who is in the middle of the pack for the power play away from home.
News and Notes
Alex Semin will miss tonight's game...Joining him on the sideline will be former Duck, Sergei Fedorov and 'D' man, Shaone Morrisonn.
On Anaheim's end, Bobby Ryan was recently called up from the AHL's Iowa Chops. Ryan had 10 goals in 14 games for the Chops before the call-up and put up 10 points in 23 games for Anaheim last season.
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