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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Ducks, Thursday 10/8

Consider it a “Disneyland Doubleheader” for Boston sports Thursday evening, kicking off with the Bruins hosting the Anaheim Ducks at the TD Garden tonight, of course followed by the start of the Red Sox-Angels ALDS series out west.

For the Bruins, they host a young Ducks team still hungry for their first win of the year. Similar to Boston, Anaheim put up a stinker in their home opener last Saturday, losing to San Jose 4-1. Tuesday night, they seemed to have right the ship against Minnesota, breaking out to an early 3-0 lead. That lead was short lived though, as the Ducks went down to the Wild, 4-3 in overtime.

Here now, a few more noteworthy notes before the Ducks fly into the Garden Thursday night…

  • In last season’s only meeting between the two teams, Boston shut out the Ducks in convincing fashion, 6-0 at the Garden.
  • Coach Randy Carlyle, entering his fifth season at the helm, has led the Ducks to the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, including their improbably Cup-winning run in 2007.
  • The young leader of the Ducks is 24-year-old Ryan Getzlaf, who last year put a 25-66-91 stat line together and was tied for fourth in the league with 28 power play assists. He led a strong top line, flanked by Bobby Ryan (57 points last year as a rookie) and Corey Perry (a career-high 72 points).
  • Offsetting some of the youth and inexperience around the Anaheim clubhouse, the Ducks feature a strong corps of talented veterans, led by future Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Niedermayer and long-time Duck Teemu Selanne. Add to the mix winger Joffrey Lupul, who came over in the offseason in the Chris Pronger trade with Philly, along with former Canadien centerman Saku Koivu, who signed with Anaheim via free agency.
  • In goal, the Ducks feature a tandem of young and old. Jean-Sebastien Giguere (19-18-6, 3.10GAA last season) will act as a mentor to young up-and-comer Jonas Hiller (23-15-1, 2.39GAA last year), likely splitting time nearly evenly for the upcoming season.
  • Anaheim features a few familiar faces to local hockey fans on their roster. Winger Petteri Nokelainen, who was shipped to Anaheim at last season’s trade deadline in exchange for Steve Montador, likely won’t be featured in tonight’s game, as he is sidelined with a groin injury. Also, ex-Bruin Nick Boynton joined the Ducks in the offseason via free agency. Boynton was the first round pick of the Bruins back in 1999, 21st overall. Lastly, ex-Penguin Ryan Whitney has joined the Ducks’ blue line crew this year. Whitney, Boston born, played his college hockey at Boston University.

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