Friday, November 25, 2005

GameDay: @ Anaheim (8-11-4, 20 Pts) 4:00 ET

Today is the second of four games between these two teams this season and the first time head coach Mike Babcock will be on the bench in Anaheim as a visitor since leaving the Ducks this past off season. The Wings won the last meeting, 3-2, on October 21st with goals from Robert Lang, Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk. The Wings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over Colorado Wednesday night. They ended up 1-1 on their short two-game homestand after going 0-2-1 on a Western Canada road trip the week before. Tonight's game kicks off a three-game California trip that will end Monday in LA after a stop in San Jose tomorrow night. The game against the Kings will cap off the second month of the season for the Wings, which wasn't as impressive as their first was. After going 11-1-0 in October, they have been 5-4-2 (with one cancellation) in November to this point, ending up 16-5-2 on the season. The Ducks are 2-6-3 so far this month, with their wins coming on the first of the month and, following an eight-game losing streak, on the 22nd. Their most recent game was a loss to the Stars, a 3-1 decision in Dallas but they won the night before in Phoenix, 2-1. Tonight's game kicks off a five-game home stretch for the Ducks, who are 6-5-2 at home (versus 2-6-2 on the road). Manny Legace should get the start for the Wings while Ilya Bryzgalov will likely play for the Ducks, with JS Giguere out with a hamstring injury. Babcock told the papers that newly-promoted defenseman Kyle Quincey may get some playing time against the Ducks or at least sometime on this trip. It sounds like the Wings would like to put him on the penalty kill. That shows the kind of confidence they have in him, I suppose. Ted Kulfan says on his blog that Jiri Fischer has been advised to stay away from physical activity for 4-6 weeks. We were denied the sight of Sergei Fedorov in the first game against the Ducks (he was out with a groin injury) and we'll be denied it again -- because he's no longer on the team. So, the story will just be Babcock's return to Anaheim. The Ducks have been struggling and this should be a good opportunity for the Wings to continue what they started on Wednesday.


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