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Ducks Hope It's Home Sweet Home

Anaheim will look to capitalize on the home ice advantage it seized on the last day of the regular season

Tuesday, 04.12.2011 / 7:38 PM / News
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Ducks Hope It\'s Home Sweet Home
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

In your typical seven-game playoff series, any little edge can mean the difference between moving on or starting an early summer. With that in mind, the Ducks are hoping the home ice advantage they swiped at the last instant for this series will prove critical.

“Now that we’re there, we have to take advantage of our home ice,” Getzlaf said. “We worked hard to get that and have to make sure we’re ready on Wednesday. We’re in the playoffs now. It’s a seven-game series. It’s going to be a long one. We’re prepared for that.”
In a season when they seemingly never had full cooperation from other teams around the league when they needed it, the Ducks had everything go right last Saturday. They watched as Nashville lost at St. Louis, were playing when San Jose beat Phoenix and ultimately defeated the rival Kings at Staples Center. That turn of events propelled Anaheim from seventh to fourth in the final Western Conference standings.

Not only does that grant Anaheim the opportunity of opening and playing more games in the friendly confines of Honda Center, but it also all the club the chance to have the last line change courtesy of rule 82.1 in the NHL Handbook. With one of the best forward lines in hockey (Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan) on one side and one of the premier defensive tandems (Shea Weber, Ryan Suter) on the other, getting to choose the matchup could be key.

“With those two guys on the back end, we’ll be able to get away from them with that last change,” said Bobby Ryan, who finished tied for eighth in the league with 34 goals in the regular season. “Being able to control the fate in four out of the seven games is a huge thing.

Ducks comments after Tueday's practice

“That being said, we’re comfortable playing here. Hopefully, we can go into their barn, get some wins and it doesn’t go that long. But that is always wishful thinking. They are a good team.”

This is Anaheim’s eighth trip to the postseason in its history and 18th playoff series over that timeframe. The Ducks won best-of-seven sets in 11 of those previous cases, thanks in large part to a 31-16 record at Honda Center. But the Ducks have been on both sides of the spectrum to know that home-ice advantage will only take you so far.

In 2009, the Ducks were an eight seed and took the first two games at top-seed San Jose en route to a series victory. Anaheim was a four seed the previous year and followed the same script of the Sharks, dropping the first two at home to Dallas before falling in six games of the quarterfinals.

In the regular season, the Ducks were very good at home, going 26-13-2 (second-best in the Western Conference).

“With those two guys on the back end, we’ll be able to get away from them with that last change,”  Ryan said. “Being able to control the fate in four out of the seven games is a huge thing."
“Now that we’re there, we have to take advantage of our home ice,” said Ryan Getzlaf. “We worked hard to get that and have to make sure we’re ready on Wednesday. We’re in the playoffs now. It’s a seven-game series. It’s going to be a long one. We’re prepared for that.”

Setting the tone with a strong start is something both teams would sorely like to do in tomorrow’s Game 1. This season, when Anaheim scored first, it had a .739 winning percentage (34-10-2 record, seventh in the league) and a .893 success rate (25-3-0 record) when leading after one period.

“The key to our success is our forechecking,” said 50-goal scorer Corey Perry. “If we play our style of game, make them turn and go get the puck, it’s going to be better off for us.  We have to wear them down. It’s just a matter of doing what we have been doing all year.

Said Ryan, “We’re excited about this run, the way we finished and the way we peaked down the stretch. We certainly hope it translates. It’s going to be a fun a series. It’s nice that we’re able to open at home.”

Notes
Ray Emery (lower body injury) returned to practice on Tuesday and was one of three goaltenders on the ice for the team. Carlyle had this to say about him afterward, “That has been the plan was today to make sure he skated with us. He warmed up earlier and took shots. I haven’t seen the trainer yet. In all likelihood, he will be available to us tomorrow.”

Francois Beauchemin also took part in Tuesday’s drills too after missing Monday’s session following the effects of taking a shot on Saturday against the Kings. “When you have bumps and bruises, you want to make sure that you take every precaution that you possibly can because we need all these people available to us,” Carlyle said.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48
 

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