Morning Report: Maroon Heads Home As Ducks Play Blues
The Anaheim Ducks arrived in St. Louis, the City of the Arch, for the second game of a back-to-back against the St. Louis Blues. It presents yet another tough Western Conference opponent for the Ducks, who have points in four straight games.
There won’t be any rest for the weary, either. The Ducks went to a third straight shootout last night in Chicago, defeating the league-leading Blackhawks for a well-earned 3-2 win.
“It's just a point in the end, but it's still winning and losing and winning is definitely more fun,” goaltender Jonas Hiller said. “It was nice to have the guys score a couple up front in the shootout, and it was nice to finally win the shootout.”
The Ducks and Blues face off for the first of three meetings this season, and the first of two games at Scottrade Center. Anaheim earned a point in all three meetings last season, winning two of them.
The players had the option to skate this morning at Scottrade Center, with a handful of Ducks hitting the ice before tonight’s game.
Jonas Hiller has faced 76 shots, plus 12 shootout attempts, in the past two games, so Frederik Andersen could get the nod in net tonight. The rookie goaltender has opened his NHL career 7-1-0 with a 1.70 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. He has given up more than two goals twice in seven starts.
Jaroslav Halak will be in net tonight for the Blues. Alex Steen, the second-leading goal scorer in the league, missed this morning’s skate with an illness and is a game-time decision.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Ducks’ forward Patrick Maroon missed a chance to play in his hometown of St. Louis last season when he was reassigned to Norfolk the day before a matchup with the Blues. He won’t miss his chance tonight. The St. Louis native will play in tonight’s game, and over 200 family and friends will be in attendance.
It’s the first time since 2005 as he plays his first game at Scottrade Center since the 2005 state championships, when he played for Oakville High School.
The Ducks and Blues face off as two of the top teams in the league. The Ducks are tied for second in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks, while St. Louis is tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth. Anaheim went 2-0-1 vs. the Blues in 2012-13, including a 6-5 shootout win on Feb. 9. Anaheim owns a 34-32-10 all-time record vs. St. Louis.