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Ducks Prepare for Critical Weekend

Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 6:20 PM / News
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Ducks Prepare for Critical Weekend
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com

“It’s against two opponents that we’re chasing,” Perry said. “You win both and it’s four points. You never know where that can put you at the end of the day. They are probably the two biggest games of the year right now.”
Amid a grueling schedule of games, practice time has been hard to come by for the Anaheim Ducks.

In a rare opening on the docket, the Ducks took to the Honda Center ice on Thursday in preparation for a critical back-to-back set against Calgary and Los Angeles – two teams fighting with Anaheim for a coveted playoff spot.  Each of the teams is among six separated by just seven points between 8th and 13th place in the Western Conference.

“It’s against two opponents that we’re chasing,” said Corey Perry of the back-to-back, which will conclude five games in seven nights for the Ducks. “You win both and it’s four points. You never know where that can put you at the end of the day. They are probably the two biggest games of the year right now.”

Offense was a point of emphasis on Thursday at the club’s home rink. In dropping consecutive games in regulation for the first time since a three-game slide Dec. 29-Jan. 4, Anaheim has been outscored 6-1 in its last two games. Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau hopes the practice drills help his team’s offense get out of neutral.

“What we were trying today is shooting drills and getting guys going to the net,” Boudreau said. “I don’t know too many more things you can do. Hopefully, they start scoring in practice and they get confidence in scoring. We haven’t scored an even strength goal in two games.  We’re not allowing more than two goals a game. If we scored three goals a game in the last 10 games, we would probably be 10-0.”

Boudreau also spent some time working with the power play units on Thursday. During February, a month the Ducks went 8-4-3 in, the team went 7-for-53 (13.2 percent) with the man-advantage. With games increasingly being closer around the league, capitalizing on any mistakes by opponents only becomes that much greater.

“Right now, it’s just a like a playoff game,” Selanne said. "We are expecting there are not going to be many mistakes. They are going to be low-scoring games and little things are going to make the difference. We just have to do things right and have a solid 60 minutes. Good teams find a way to do it.”
“I control the power play,” Boudreau said. “Brad (Lauer) and Bob (Woods) take care of the penalty killing. It’s something I’ve done my whole life. When it starts going bad, you really get sleepless nights. “

At this point in the season, the Ducks no there is no rest for the weary. The club opens the crucial back-to-back tomorrow night at Honda Center against the Flames, who Anaheim has beaten a franchise record 14 straight times at home.

From there, the Ducks will make the short 30-mile drive to Staples Center for the fifth installment of the Freeway Face-Off rivalry. “Right now, it’s just a like a playoff game,” said Teemu Selanne of playing the Kings. They are in a better position than we are. They have to battle too. We are expecting there not going to be many mistakes. They are going to be low-scoring games and little things are going to make the difference. The same thing goes for tomorrow. We just have to do things right and have a solid 60 minutes. Good teams find a way to do it.”

Said Perry, “You want to play games all the time, get in that rhythm and keep going. When you are playing every night, it’s tough on your body, but you battle through it, go out there and keep playing. We need the points. That is what we’re looking at.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 60 19 40 10 59
C. Perry 48 26 17 13 43
R. Kesler 63 16 23 -2 39
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
P. Maroon 55 7 21 -4 28
H. Lindholm 60 6 22 17 28
J. Silfverberg 62 9 18 7 27
C. Fowler 62 5 21 -2 26
R. Rakell 52 5 19 4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 29 8 5 .916 2.37
J. Gibson 7 5 0 .914 2.63

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