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Time: 2:00 PM E.T. - Friday
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Kicking off Friday's slate of NHL matchups is the game between Eastern Conference foes and serious playoff contenders, the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Detroit Red Wings. Both Toronto and Detroit are fighting for third place and looking to climb higher in an incredibly competitive Atlantic division.
After his all start to the season, the Maple Leafs found themselves losing four consecutive games including a heartbreaking 3-2 road loss to the Boston Bruins. The Maple Leafs were able to rebound by winning three of their next four games. During this current stretch, the Maple Leafs are averaging 4.75 goals per game.
The Red Wings started the season by winning five of the first six games. They are currently on a tough streak of performances where they have only won three of the last ten games. Detroit is coming off a tough 4-3 overtime loss at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. The Senators started the game with four consecutive goals, but the Red Wings were able to score four goals in the second. They ultimately fell to the senators in the final seconds of overtime.
Statistically, the Red Wings are more consistent than the Maple Leafs, but Toronto is on a solid streak on the offensive side of the ice. Toronto’s forward Mitchell Marner, forward William Nylander and center Auston Matthews accounted for nine points in six games in November. Only forward J.T. Compher accounted for more than four points (7) in six games in November for Detroit.
Time: 10:00 PM E.T. - Friday
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The biggest and most entertaining game of the night is set for a huge Eastern Conference versus Western Conference matchup between the Florida Panthers and the Anaheim Ducks. Both teams are among some of the most consistent teams. They are also legitimate playoff contenders in their respective conferences.
The Panthers were juggling wins within their first 10 games of the season as they were looking for solid consistency. After those 10 games, the Panthers were able to account for five consecutive wins. Florida is coming off a tough 2-1 loss on the road to Los Angeles. They are in their final third game of a Western Conference road trip, as they played their last two games in San Jose and Los Angeles.
After a 1-4 start to the season, the Anaheim Ducks were able to find the rhythm and establish a solid six-game winning streak, with the first four being on the road. Darren that streak, the Ducks have great wins over the Bruins, the Flyers, the Penguins and at home versus the Golden Knights. Anaheim has won two of their last three games but is coming off an incredibly disappointing 8-2 road loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
Offensively, the Panthers and the Ducks are not far from each other in terms of efficiency. The Panthers are averaging 3.13 goals per game, while the Ducks are averaging 3.06 goals per game.
The biggest difference of the night is going to be the efficiency of both teams on defense. The Ducks are allowing an average of 3.19 goals per game.
The Panthers have established themselves as a consistent defensive unit, as they allow an average of 2.8 goals per game. After starting their reliable top goalie in Sergei Bobrovsky, the Panthers are going with their trusted backup goalie in Anthony Stolarz (89.2% on saves).
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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