Home > Season Preview > Devils 2012-13 Schedule Preview: Anaheim Ducks

Devils 2012-13 Schedule Preview: Anaheim Ducks

Teemu Selanne would score in the shootout, but Martin Brodeur got the last laugh, backstopping the Devils to a 3-2 win. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Starting today, The Devils Den will give you a detailed look at the New Jersey Devils upcoming opponents this season. We’ll run it down in alphabetical order, giving an in-depth look at each team.

Despite being on opposite coasts, the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils are pretty familiar with one another. Just nine years ago, the teams squared off in the Stanley Cup Finals. An upstart J.S. Giguere matched Martin Brodeur save for save, yet couldn’t will his team to a win. And while New Jersey skated off with their third Stanley Cup championship, Giguere would take home the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Since then, Devils fans watched Scott Niedermayer win a Stanley Cup with the Ducks and rooted for his brother, Rob, who spent one season in the red and black. But without much postseason success – Anaheim hasn’t made it past the second round since the 2006-07 season – the two teams haven’t played many meaningful games.

Last Season

New Jersey – 3, Anaheim – 2 (SO) – February 17, 2012 @ Prudential Center

Adam Henrique got the scoring started, breaking a scoreless tie at the beginning of the second period. Alexei Ponikarovsky stretched the lead to two, but New Jersey couldn’t hold. Corey Perry cut into the lead near the end of the second period, and Sheldon Brookbank scored the equalizer in the final period.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Teemu Selanne kicked off the skills competition with goals. Neither team could find the back of the net until the third round, when Patrik Elias gave New Jersey a lead. Ryan Getzlaf couldn’t beat Brodeur, and the Devils skated away with the win.

This Season’s Matchup

The biggest question facing the Ducks will be whether or not Bobby Ryan will be on the roster when the season starts. Ryan, a native of Cherry Hill, NJ, has been rumored to be on the trading block all summer long. He even addressed the situation, saying Anaheim showed him “nothing to prove they want me here.” Ryan, who has four straight 30-plus goal seasons, could be dealt before the season begins.

Ducks fans won’t have all doom and gloom. Selanne decided to return for yet another season, and the ageless wonder can still put up points. He posted 66 points (20g, 46a) as a 41-year old, and figures to come close to that production next season. They’ll also depend on both Perry and Getzlaf, who combined for 117 points last season.

Patrik Elias netted the game-winning shootout goal in the only matchup between Anaheim and New Jersey last season.

The biggest improvement may need to come along the blueline. Cam Fowler took a major step back last season, recording just 29 points (5g, 24a) after hitting the 40-point plateau as a rookie two years ago. His plus/minus also decreased to a minus-28, and he’s posted two straight seasons of a minus-25 rating or worse. Anaheim also traded Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders, sending one of their biggest defensive point producers to the Island. They also need Lucas Sbisa to continue his career-best performance from last season. The fourth year defenseman set career highs in goals, assists and points.

Anaheim will attempt to address some of those weaknesses with free agent acquisitions. Sheldon Souray highlights the team’s offseason moves. Last season with Dallas, he finished with just 21 points. Souray can effectively run the point on a powerplay, though his powerplay point total from last season is a measly two. They also added some size and grit with the signings of Bryan Allen and Brad Staubitz. Daniel Winnik and Viktor Fasth rounded out their offseason moves.

The Ducks also have phenomenal depth at the AHL level. Waiting in the wings is Kyle Palmieri, a talented right-winger who netted 33 goals in just 51 games. Joining him are talented rookie forwards Peter Holland and Emerson Etem. Rugged power forward Patrick Maroon may challenge for playing time with the big club as well.

The two teams will once again square off just once this season. New Jersey travels to Anaheim March 29 as part of a three-game road trip.

Stat Pack

New Jersey is 15-8-1 in 24 all-time meetings against Anaheim. The Devils have held the Ducks to just 2.25 goals-per-game.

In 21 games against Anaheim (20 starts), Brodeur is 14-6-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. That’s his second lowest goals-against average against an opponent.

In 17 games against the Ducks, Elias has just six points (4g, 2a).

Ryan has two points (1g, 1a) in four meetings against his home-state team.

In 26 games against the Devils, Selanne has 18 points (9g, 9a).

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  1. August 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm

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