Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers end Western road trip against Anaheim Ducks


The Florida Panthers take on the Anaheim Ducks on the last of their four game road trip. A win would give the Panthers a split on the western road swing, as they beat the San Jose Sharks in the first game of the trip.

Florida will look to sweep the season series against the Ducks after winning by the score of 3-2 earlier in the season. After falling behind 2-0 in the first, Florida scored straight goals including the game winner Brad Boyes.

Here is the game recap from the Kings’ persepctive, Rink Royalty

For a preview of today’s game from the Ducks website, Pucks of a Feather, check here

The Rundown

Florida Anaheim
26-37-8 Record 45-18-7
60 Points 97
2.34 Goals/Game 3.14
3.14 GA/Game 2.46
10.4 PP% 16.3
74.9 PK% 81.1

 

For the majority of the season, the Ducks were the class of the league – owning the best record in the West mainly due to their home record. It took Anaheim until their 23rd home game to lose their first in regulation but has struggled since only going 4-7-2.

The Ducks are led by one of the best one-two punches in the league – Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry – who have combined for 145 points (65 G, 80 A). Getzlaf has been dominant at times this season, and is currently second in the entire NHL in points, only trailing Sidney Crosby.

Player Spotlight

Hampus Lindholm

One of the biggest surprises of the season, Lindholm wasn’t expected to play a big role on the NHL team but injuries forced him into the lineup and he hasn’t looked back. It’s rare to see defenseman as young make such an impact as Lindholm as and if there was any one player that could take the Calder Trophy away from Nathan MacKinnon, it would be Lindholm.

In 67-games played this season, Lindholm has scored five goals along with 26-points and has a rookie leading plus-26 rating while averaging over 19-minutes of ice-time per game.

Dmitry Kulikov

Kulikov’s numbers don’t exactly show his improved play, but his ice-time does. In his last five games, Kulikov has a minus-1 rating and one assist – but has played over 25-minutes on two separate occasions. In his first 65-games, he had only skated 25-or more minutes six times.

The more Kulikov and Brian Campbell are involved in the offense, the more success the Panthers are and this would be a great time to showcase his abilities matched up against another great young defender.

Key Matchup

Dan Ellis vs Getzlaf/Perry

Dan Ellis is set to make his second appearance for the Panthers since being added at the trade deadline. He faces his former team and will have a tall task stopping Getzlaf and Perry whose net presence can make any goaltenders nights miserable.

Ellis will have to make sure his rebound control is at its best as anything loose the duo of Getzlaf and Perry will be looking to clean up the garbage.

Follow The Rat Trick on Twitter @FANSIDEDTHERAT and follow me @AMurphyTRT.

Tags: Corey Perry Dan Ellis Dmitry Kulikov Florida Panthers Ryan Getzlaf