Skip to main content

Panthers-Ducks Preview

  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Considering the Anaheim Ducks' miserable start, their latest victory won't mean much if they don't follow up with a similar effort.

The Ducks can do so by winning two in a row for the first time Wednesday night against the visiting Florida Panthers.

Chris Stewart had a goal and two assists and Frederik Andersen made 40 saves as Anaheim (2-7-2) scored three times in the first period of a 4-2 victory over Nashville on Sunday. The Ducks, who matched their highest goal total of the season, scored 10 in the first 10 games but have recorded three in the first period twice in the last three contests.

"That's how we have to play," said Stewart, who posted his first points in 10 games this season. "We were on our toes. We dictated (the play). We came out in waves. The whole team fed off it."

While that formula worked, making it happen consistently has been the challenge. The Ducks, whose 14 goals are by far the fewest in the league, beat Minnesota 4-1 on Oct. 18, then were outscored 15-5 while losing the next five.

"It's OK as long as we don't think that's the be-all and end-all," coach Bruce Boudreau said of Sunday's win. "We have to build on it. We have to put things together."

Anaheim will try for a third consecutive victory at home, where it's scored eight goals in the last two games after recording one in the first three. The Ducks should have even more incentive after they suffered a pair of 6-2 losses to the Panthers last season.

"It's not going to be easy," Boudreau said. "Florida beat us pretty good last year."

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

The Panthers (5-4-2) recorded 59 shots in their last two games, but went 1 for 9 on the power play and managed one goal each time while dropping both to Boston and Washington.

"We played two good teams," coach Gerard Gallant told the NHL's official website. "When you're getting chances, that's a good sign. If we weren't getting chances, then I'd be frustrated."

A lower-body injury kept leading scorer Jaromir Jagr out of both contests, but he is expected to play Wednesday.

"We would love to have him back," Gallant said. "We miss him when he's not there. We want to make sure he's ready and I think he is. He's a big part of our team and it showed. If it was a long-term injury we wouldn't put him in. But he thinks it is fine."

Jagr, with six goals and four assists, last faced the Ducks in December 2013 with New Jersey.

Teammate Nick Bjugstad has three points in the last two road games. He had two goals and two assists at Anaheim on Nov. 16.

Andersen, who has a 2.05 goals-against average and earned his first win in eight starts Sunday, has yielded seven goals in two games against the Panthers.

Playing a big role in Anaheim's offensive woes are the struggles of Corey Perry, who after totaling 76 goals the past two seasons has none through the first 11 games. He was held without a point against the Panthers last season.

Ryan Getzlaf has one point in eight games, and it's uncertain if he'll be ready Wednesday after missing the last three with a case of appendicitis that required surgery.