The Ducks wrapped up their morning skate at Honda Center in preparation for tonight’s contest against the Phoenix Coyotes. Tonight is the finale of the three-game series against the Coyotes, the first time in club history the Ducks have faced the same opponent in three straight games.
MIX AND MATCH
Head coach Bruce Boudreau isn’t shy about switching up line combinations to get things going. Yesterday in practice, Boudreau had Bobby Ryan on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Up to this point, Ryan has primarily played on the Ducks’ second line on the wing or center with Teemu Selanne.
Boudreau, on using different line combinations: “It’s what I’ve done in the past. Everybody would love to have four lines and the same three guys on every line and chemistry going good and everybody being successful all the time. But when that’s not happening, there’s games where guys aren’t going good and you’ve got to move them around. And there are injuries where you’ve got to move guys around. Sometimes playing one guy in a different position affects four lines. That’s why lines change.”
Getzlaf: “Bruce is a communicator. He lets us know about everything that’s going on. He told us right away that he likes to do that. He doesn’t like to keep things one general way. By now, we’ve played with everybody. Whoever we’re playing with that night we’ll have a few talks before games. Generally, we play a puck-possession game and everyone who steps on our line knows that. They’ve got to come in and work and we’ve got to try and work with them.”
NO ROOM FOR ERROR
The Ducks have had multiple leads slip away in each of the first two games against the Coyotes. Despite earning points in consecutive 5-4 shootout losses, the margin for error is slim and the Ducks are looking to tighten up their game.
Getzlaf: “They’re good hard-fought games. There are good goaltenders on both sides that are making timely saves. We’re getting goals. So that’s a good thing on the offensive side. On the defensive side we’ve got to tighten things up. We’re not a team that can give up four goals a game and expect to win. We’ll work on that tonight. We did yesterday. We tightened a few things up in practice.”
Ryan: “Every night is just two points. We’re not looking at it as a best of three series with them, and we never really did. We just looked at it as a chance to put some major ground between us and a divisional rival, and we haven’t been able to do that.”
Boudreau, on Palmieri’s status: “I wouldn’t say a ways away. He was doing really good today. So it’s a day at a time. It wouldn’t surprise me at all, quite frankly, if he was on the ice in the next day or two.”
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