Florida Panthers (5-4-5) at Anaheim Ducks (11-3-3)
|Date & Time||Sunday November 16, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks / Florida Panthers --- Over/Under:
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The Anaheim Ducks look to shake off an overtime loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Centre last night as they return home to face off against the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers will look to take down one of the league's top dogs on Sunday as they head into the Honda Center to take on the Anaheim Ducks in what looks like a pretty lopsided affair on paper but could actually prove to be closer than people think. The Cats have played just 14 games so far this season which is two less than anybody else in hockey which accounts for only have 15 points despite sitting a game above the .500 mark and going 4-2-4 in their last 10 contests. Florida is an under the radar type team that will likely come up short of the postseason but I think they're better than people give them credit for and while they're a young side they play with a ton of energy and pride. Roberto Luongo has stabilized the goal tending issues in Sunrise and with a group of young superstars and the possibility of another on the way next season this team could be really good in just a few short seasons.
The Ducks meanwhile are in a completely different place in their franchise's progress as they're in win now mode and anything less than a Cup title would be considered underachieving for a side that traded for Ryan Kesler in the offseason. Anaheim has to contend with a number of tough sides in the Western Conference as we saw last night in a battle with LA and while it is easy to dismiss most Eastern Conference foes on these West Coast trips I think this could actually be a nice spot for the Panthers. Anaheim is coming off a tough loss on the road to a heated rival and now return home in a back to back playing against a team they should throttle but it just doesn't always happen that way. I am a bit weary here as the Ducks could very well come out and stomp the Panthers early and often but I don't see it happening and I think taking a shot with Florida here is more than a flier.