One team desperate to keep winning meets another hoping to win again as the Anaheim Ducks host the Detroit Red Wings Friday at Honda Center. This will be the second meeting of the year between teams that were bitter rivals before Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference in 2013. Detroit took the first head-to-head of the year, 2-1, in mid-February. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Red Wings that game.
The Ducks (35-24-12) defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 Wednesday night at Honda Center. For Vancouver, it was the third straight game without scoring a goal. For the Ducks, this stopped a three-game losing streak. They are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. John Gibson made 32 saves to register his third shutout of the season, all coming in his last 13 games. He has 26 wins on the year.
The Red Wings (26-33-11) are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. They will be playing back-to-back, as they faced the Kings at Staples Center on Thursday. Detroit lost 4-1. Jared Coreau turned back 18 shots in the loss. Detroit scoring came from Gustav Nyquist, his 18th goal. The Wings have registered but one point, an OT loss in Boston, in seven games played in March.
Game day! The playoff push continues tonight when Detroit comes to @HondaCenter: https://t.co/tjJHZh6ogu #LetsGoDucks pic.twitter.com/kFZud4JExu
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) March 16, 2018
Depth scoring emerged as key for the Ducks versus Vancouver. The first and third goals came off the stick of defenseman Brendan Montour. He has eight on the season, but he had not scored in 50 games dating back to Nov. 19 versus Florida. This was Montour’s first multi-goal game and his second consecutive game posting at least a point. He has four game-winning goals this season, second in the NHL.
The second Anaheim goal was chipped in by Jason Chimera. Chimera played with Chris Kelly and Derek Grant as the Ducks’ fourth line. This was Chimera’s first tally since coming to the team from the Islanders at the trade deadline. He also added an assist on Montour’s first goal.
Chimera said, “You want to score goals and help the team out and not just coexist. You want to score some goals and help them out and it’s nice to be on the scoresheet.”
Coach Randy Carlyle was pleased with the line. “They are veteran guys that understand their role and the situation they are in here. They put pressure on the puck and weren’t a liability defensively. That’s the key, that they can play 200 feet away from their net more often than they play closer to the net and that’s always a plus for a fourth line.”