The two top teams in the Western Conference face off, in what could be an interesting game. Despite being just 5 points behind the Blackhawks, Anaheim is in a slump and hasn’t won a game in 4 starts. That said, the Ducks have come out on top both times they’ve faced the Hawks this year. Chicago will miss elite forwards Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, but haven’t had much trouble putting pucks in the net no matter who’s on the ice this season. The Blackhawks will be out in force trying to get some revenge, but the game will come down to whether Anaheim can break out of their funk.
•Snap out of it – The Ducks have allowed 16 goals in their last 4 games, they need to be much stronger in, and in front of the net.
•Test the Tender – Chicago’s last win was an easy 16 save shutout, the Ducks need to get pucks on the net early and often, and make the Blackhawks’ backstop work.
Blackhawks’ Keys to the Game
•Respect the Competition – Despite the losing streak, the Ducks are no slouch, and are not far removed from their sizzling start to the season. The Blackhawks need to give 100% from the opening puck-drop, to the final buzzer.
•Find Scoring – Without Sharp and Hossa, the Hawks need to continue to get scoring from their defensive, and 3rd / 4th line players. Kane and Toews may not be enough if the Ducks wake up.