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Playin' the Blues

Thursday, 12.08.2011 / 12:42 PM
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Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
Playin\' the Blues

All I want to know is, who won the fight?
Chances are, you've already heard the major news this morning regarding Anaheim and a superstar former league MVP in St. Louis.

But just in case you missed it: Yes, Corey Perry and the Anaheim Ducks are facing a key game with the St. Louis Blues tonight.

It's the first road test for new Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who is coming off his first win as Anaheim coach two nights ago against the Kings. The Ducks are in St. Louis tonight, Nashville on Saturday, and a date with Phoenix next Wedesnday at Honda Center is the only home game in the next eight for Anaheim.

The Blues (15-9-3) are the latest NHL proof at what a coaching change can do, having sprinted to a 9-2-3 record since former Blue Jacket head man Ken Hitchcock took over for the dismissed Davis Payne back on Nov. 6. They've done it mostly with a stingy defense that has given up two of fewer goals in 11 of their past 15 games. That's similar defensive prowess as Anaheim's last opponent, the Kings (and we all know how that one turned out).

St. Louis has been boosted by the work of former backup Brian Elliott, who has filled in for the injured Jaroslav Halak and put up monster numbers: a 10-2-0 record and league-leading 1.56 goals-against average. But Elliott won't be in there tonight for the Blues, as Halak is reportedly getting the start after recovering from a groin injury. Halak is 4-7-3 with a 2.40 GAA and .903 save percentage, but has a 1.60 GAA and .944 save percentage in his last eight starts.

The Ducks, incidentally, are looking to win two games in a row for the first time since they won four straight following a season-opening defeat. Game 3 of that string was a 4-2 victory over the Blues at Honda Center (with Halak in net), although since that time, both teams have changed coaches.

"We've been pretty competitive," Boudreau said this morning of the Ducks in his three-game tenure. "Quite frankly, we could have won all three games or we could have lost all three.

"We've played three good teams and tonight is the fourth in a row. It will be another really good test."

If you're looking to catch the game tonight with some fellow Ducks fans, there will be an official Watch Party starting at 5 p.m. at one of my favorite spots, The Catch in Anaheim.

Wherever you are, hopefully you'll watch Anaheim take something from St. Louis for the second time today.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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