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Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning preview and Game Day Thread

The last meeting on the ice for Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry

Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #74

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: ESPN+, BSSUN, BSSC, BSSD

Opponent SBNation Site: Anaheim Calling

At some point in tonight’s game Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are going to be together on the ice for the final time in their careers. While it might be an odd thing to notice between opponents, there is a special relationship between these two. The two were drafted together by Anaheim in 2003 (Getzlaf with the 19th pick and Perry with the 28th), they started their NHL careers together in the 2005-06 season, won a Stanley Cup together in 2007, and played together for 14 seasons in Anaheim.

When Perry was asked about Getzlaf’s pending retirement following this season he was visibly moved:

With Perry walking the NHL world in search of another Cup and Getzlaf retiring, it’s the end of an era for Ducks fan. The good news for them is that appears a new one is on the horizon and it should be a fun one.

My original idea for this preview was to just post a string of Trevor Zegras highlights and call it a day. You know, like this one:

or this one:

or this one:

or any one of another dozen highlights floating around on the internet.

The Ducks aren’t going to make the playoffs this year. With 71 points in 75 games (29-33-13) they are out of the race, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the price of admission. Old friend Pat Verbeek is their new general manager and inherited a wealth of young talent. Along with Zegras, the Ducks have fellow first round picks Jamie Drysdale, Mason McTavish, Jacob Perreault, Brayden Tracey, Max Jones, Sam Steel, and Isac Lundestrom in the system. They’re like the anti-Lightning in regards to first round picks. Oh yeah, they also have two more first round picks in this year’s draft (their own and Boston’s).

It will likely take another season or so for all of this talent to sort itself out, but in the meantime they should be fun to watch. Troy Terry, a grizzled veteran of 197 NHL games at age 24, is leading them in scoring with 59 points (33 goals, 26 assists) and may be a future captain of the team with Getzlaf (who has 31 points on 3 goals and 28 assists this season) hanging them up.

The defense is still a work in progress, but does feature a few old friends - Kevin Shattenkirk and Andrej Sustr (it will be a tragedy if Sustr scores and they don’t play his goal song). For Shattenkirk, it’s his first trip back to Tampa since Boat Parade Version 1.0. Since signing a free agent deal with the Ducks after the 2019-20 season, he’s provided them with some veteran leadership on the blueline.

In net it will likely by John Gibson who is coming off of a 52-save performance in Sunrise. Despite the Herculean performance in net, the Ducks lost 3-2 in overtime, because the Florida Panthers have forgotten how to lose over the last month.

For the Lightning they just need to carry over the defensive performance we’ve seen over the last few games (2 goals allowed in regulation over the last 3 games) while cleaning up their act in the offensive zone. Simplifying their game a bit might help. Work the puck back to the point, get the shots through to net, retrieve the puck, and do it again tends to work best for them. Once that starts working it opens up the seams for those lovely cross-ice passes that Nikita Kucherov and his friends can’t resist trying.

Tampa Bay Lightning Potential Lines

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Brandon Hagel - Anthony Cirelli - Alex Killorn

Nick Paul - Steven Stamkos - Ross Colton

Pat Maroon - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Corey Perry

Defense

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -Zach Bogosian/Cal Foote

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Brian Elliott

Note - Vasilevskiy was first off the ice in the morning skate. He is the likely starter.

Anaheim Ducks Potential Lines

Forwards

Derek Grant - Trevor Zegras - Troy Terry

Adam Henrique - Ryan Getzlaf - Gerald Mayhew

Sonny Milano - Isac Lundestrom - Zach Aston- Reese

Maxime Comtois - Sam Carrick - Dominik Simon

Defense

Cam Fowler - Kevin Shattenkirk

Urho Vaakanainen - Jamie Drysdale

Simon Benoit - Andrej Sustr

Goaltenders

John Gibson

Anthony Stolarz