Sunday, March 27, 2011
Ducks: Top line still doing damage
By Dan Arritt
Ducks (42-28-5, 89 points) vs. Colorado Avalanche (28-38-8, 64) at Honda Center, 7:05 p.m.
Five storylines to track:
1. Three's a charm -- The top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan teamed up for both goals Saturday night in a 2-1 victory in Chicago. The trio have been carrying the team the last 13 games, combining for 19 goals and 34 assists while helping the Ducks go 10-3-0 during that span. Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan have combined for 18 goals and 31 assists in 54 career games against the Avalanche.
2. Red-hot Duck -- Of course, no NHL player is hotter than Perry, who scored both goals against the Avs and has four goals in the last two games and eight in the last five. His last eight goals have come on just 25 shots, a blistering shooting percentage of 32%. Perry leads the league with 20 third-period goals. The last Anaheim player to lead the league in goals was Teemu Selanne with 47 in 1997-98.
3. Familiar foe -- In a bit of a scheduling quirk, the Ducks will be playing Colorado for the fourth time in 51 days. The first three meetings came while No. 1 goalkeeper Jonas Hiller was sidelined with vertigo-like symptoms. Curtis McElhinney shut out the Avs, 3-0, on Feb 5 but was traded to Tampa Bay three weeks later for Dan Ellis, who won the last two meetings against Colorado.
4. Cam's a winner -- Ducks rookie defenseman Cam Fowler scored the overtime winner Wednesday in Dallas, his eighth goal of the season. When Fowler scores that’s usually a good sign for Anaheim, which is 6-1-1 in games in games that he has hit the net. Folwer is also getting a better hand at the defensive end. He’s a minus-one in the last eight games, putting him at minus-25 for the season.
5. Avs injury report -- Colorado has been devastated by injuries this season and little has changed heading into the Anaheim game. Defenseman Ryan Wilson suffered a knee injury and center Mark Olver a head injury in a 4-3 loss Thursday against Toronto and didn’t play Saturday in a 4-1 loss against the Kings. Defenseman Matt Hunwick also missed the Kings game with back injury and Adam Foote is expected to miss the Anaheim game with a leg injury.