The Anaheim Ducks knocked the LA Kings out of first place in the Pacific Division on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals, after narrowly defeating the Boston Bruins, have a firm lock on first place in their division, not to mention the league. Of course, there is always something about the Caps playing their former coach that raises the level of competition between these two teams.
Bruce Boudreau, with 663 games played, is the fastest coach to reach 400 wins in NHL history. 201 of those wins occurred during his five seasons with the Caps.
The Capitals will face some new challenges while in California; however, Coach Trotz said Saturday night that this team has a lot of battle in them and that they are committed to winning.
- Matt Niskanen: Coach says he ‘flies under the radar’ and is one of the best defenseman going. He has had three points in the last five games, two which were goals.
- The defensemen will need to be at their best against Anaheim, including the goalie.
- Given the faith Coach has in his fourth line grinders, (Beagle Richards Winnik), don’t expect to see Latta or Galiev in on this road trip.
- The Caps power-play lines will have stiff completion from the Ducks PK lines.
The Ducks have fought their way up from the bottom. There were days when all we heard was news that Bruce Boudreau might be out because of their poor scoring. And then everything turned around and they are now on an 11 game winning streak entering the game tomorrow.
- Expect Frederick Anderson in the net against Braden Holtby. He hasn’t lost a regulation game since December 21st.
- Cam Fowler is great on the power play, including the one Saturday to give the Ducks the lead against the LA Kings.
- Ryan Getzlaf leads the team in overall points and assists. On the other side, Kevin Bieksa leads in penalty minutes and is likely to try and stir stuff up.
- The Ducks rank second in power play percent (23.7 %) and third in power play kill percent (86.2).