Tonight's Duck game, just like most games right now, are absolutely crucial in terms of points. Anaheim needs to really keep the fight up and walk away with two points and a "W" in every game.
The match-up tonight is against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team ranked 13th in the West, and 4th in the Central division. Anaheim, on the other hand, is currently 5th in the conference, and second in the Pacific division, trailing Pacific leaders, the Dallas Stars, by five points.
Over the last ten games, Anaheim has posted an impressive 7-3-0 record, absolutely trumping the Blue Jackets' disappointing 3-5-2 record. These two teams have met three times so far this season, meaning tonight is the fourth and last for this year. In the first two meetings, Columbus came out on top, however Anaheim got a little redemption with a 6-0 victory earlier in January, and hopefully they can tie up the series with another win tonight.
Some of the keys to tonight's game are the continued hot streaks for Bobby Ryan who has 10 points in the last 8 games, and also for the Anaheim penalty kill to stay strong. The PK unit has killed off 30 of the past 31 penalties the team has taken, and when you pair that with the strength and skills of Jonas Hiller, there's not much that opponents can do to get a lot of goals on the board.
As long as Anaheim's netminder, Jonas Hiller, continues to play how we all know he can, and show the skills that have started to throw his name out there for the Vezina Trophy, the Ducks have a very realistic opportunity to walk away with another two points today, and stay safely in their playoff spot.