Practice Report: Ducks Ready for Home Opener

Wednesday, 10.9.2013 / 1:54 PM PT / News
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Practice Report: Ducks Ready for Home Opener
The Ducks discussed their special teams play and the upcoming Home Opener against the New York Rangers.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said there's a chance Emerson Etem plays in tomorrow's Home Opener. Etem has practiced with the team the last two days.
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

Because of tonight’s Bon Jovi concert at Honda Center, the Ducks held their afternoon practice at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE.

Ducks forward Emerson Etem practiced with the team for the second consecutive day, and head coach Bruce Boudreau said there’s a chance he’ll play in tomorrow’s Home Opener against the New York Rangers.

Special teams work was an emphasis during today’s 90-minute practice. The Ducks are currently ranked 24th on the power play (11.1%) and 29th in penalty killing (54.6%). Captain Ryan Getzlaf says special teams will be a focus not only early in the season, but throughout as well.

“Special teams is the biggest part of the game,” he said. “When you talk about penalty killing and power play, if you win that battle, nine times out ten you’re winning that game. Those are going to be our focus throughout the season.”

“It’s early in the season and I don’t think our power play has gelled like we want it to yet,” said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. “Our penalty kill is certainly not where we want it. We’ve given up five goals in three games, and that’s unacceptable. This league is so evenly matched. Special teams is so important. We’re not where we want to be yet with our special teams, so we’re going to continue working on them.”

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE

GOOD TO BE BACK
After starting the season with three consecutive road contests, the Ducks (2-1-0) are back in Anaheim for five games at Honda Center. The Ducks enter tomorrow’s game winners of two straight and hope the momentum carries into the homestand.

“Guys were motivated, guys were [ticked off], and we wanted to make a statement,” Lovejoy said. “We came back 2-1, and we’ve got a team tomorrow that’s feeling like we did after Colorado.”

“When you go out on the road like that, it’s not always the easiest thing,” Getzlaf said. “We’ve got to take care of our building now and the excitement going into tomorrow night.”

Boudreau said he’s looking forward to his team’s first home game of the regular season. “We always like the home cookin’ a little bit better,” he said. “At the same time, we know what happened when we lost 6-1, and how we approached the next two days. And with San Jose beating the Rangers like they did, we know we’re in for a real tough game.”

SECOND LINE CHEMISTRY
Jakob Silfverberg
has two goals in three games thus far, and leads the team with 10 shots on goal. The 22-year-old (who turns 23 on October 13) has played on Anaheim’s second line alongside center Mathieu Perreault, who also has two goals. Though their wingers have changed over the first three games, Silfverberg says the chemistry between him and Perreault gets better on a daily basis.

“I love playing with Mathieu,” he said. “I think we have good chemistry out there and it just gets better and better after each game.”

Silfverberg has a knack for always making himself available in scoring areas, and he credits that to his linemates. “Mostly because the other two do such a great job with the puck,” he said. “They create the space. Beating their guys 1-on-1 makes the defensive team move. And, when the defensive team has to move, it usually opens up a spot. That’s where I try to be.”

‘WE’VE GOT OUR WORK CUT OUT FOR US’
It hasn’t been an easy start to New York’s brutal nine-game, 23-day road trip. So far, they’ve been outscored 14-6 in their first three games (1-2-0), including a 9-2 loss last night in San Jose. The Ducks know they’re in for a fight.

“We’ve been in their shoes six days ago,” said Lovejoy, whose familiarity with the Rangers traces back to his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. “You never want to play like that. I’m sure they’re having a tough day today. I’m sure they’re working hard, I’m sure they’re [ticked off], and they want to take it out on us tomorrow. We’ve got to be ready. They’re a tough team to play against. They have a world-class goalie and their D-core is some of the best in the NHL. Their forwards work hard. They’re a team that’s tough to play against, and they want to the play below the goal line.”

“They’re a hardworking, shot-blocking defensive-minded team,” said Boudreau. They’ve got arguably one of the top-three goaltenders in their net. By chasing [Lundqvist] last game, I’m sure he’s going to be mad, which is never a good sign. We’ve got our work cut out for us. It was two years ago when they went to the final four, and last year they had a good team and did well. I expect them to bounce back and play hard tomorrow.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 75 24 44 13 68
C. Perry 63 32 20 15 52
R. Kesler 78 20 27 -2 47
S. Vatanen 63 12 25 6 37
J. Silfverberg 77 12 23 12 35
P. Maroon 69 9 25 -4 34
C. Fowler 76 7 27 5 34
H. Lindholm 74 7 26 23 33
M. Beleskey 63 22 10 15 32
R. Rakell 67 8 22 8 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 33 11 5 .914 2.40
J. Gibson 13 7 0 .916 2.58

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