Practice Report: Preparing for What Lies Ahead

Wednesday, 01.22.2014 / 1:30 PM PT / News
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Practice Report: Preparing for What Lies Ahead
Following last night\u2019s disappointing home loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Ducks gathered at Honda Center for practice this afternoon. If there were any distractions leading up to yesterday\u2019s game, they\u2019ve come and gone as they prepare for two consecutive games against the LA Kings.
PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

Following last night’s disappointing home loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Ducks gathered at Honda Center for practice this afternoon. If there were any distractions leading up to yesterday’s game, they’ve come and gone as they prepare for two consecutive games against the LA Kings.

The first of two against their crosstown rivals begins tomorrow night at Honda Center. Then on Saturday, the scene shifts outdoors where they’ll go toe-to-toe at historic Dodger Stadium in front of 54,000 fans. With four points on the line and a chance to further distance themselves from the Kings in the standings, the Ducks talked about the importance of these next two games.

“We’re at a point in our season where we’ve lost two out of the last three, and now we’re getting to play the Kings twice,” said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. “We need to go in there and win tomorrow night, then win on Saturday to reestablish our confidence in our game.”

While a 15-point lead on paper sounds almost insurmountable, a rough stretch of games can alter the standings quickly in the highly competitive Western Conference. Ducks veteran Saku Koivu says they’ll need to be ready to face a team built for the playoffs.

“Even if you have a lead in the standings and you’re feeling comfortable, things can turn around real quickly here,” he said. “You want to get ready. You never know if you’re going to meet them in the playoffs. We have to prove to ourselves that we can compete against those guys on a consistent basis.”

Cam Fowler says consecutive games against LA will be another measuring stick for the Ducks.

“They’re an elite team in this league and someone we get to see a lot,” he said. “Since I’ve been here, we haven’t had the greatest success against them. It’ll be a good test for us, and we’ll be able to see where we’re at.

You know the type of game you’re going to get when you go up against those guys. Up and down their lineup are big, strong players who can really control the puck. They want to dictate the style of play with their physicality, but we feel we have the group to play that style of game.”

The Kings’ run to becoming the 2012 Stanley Cup champions was even more impressive because of where they were seeded when the postseason began. They became the first-ever eighth seed to win the Cup since the current playoff format was adopted in 1994. Head coach Bruce Boudreau says the veteran-led Kings are the Ducks’ toughest opponent, regardless of where they are in the standings.

“They know when they have to push the envelope,” he said. “Their record might not indicate it, points-wise, that they’re the best team we face, but I firmly believe they’re our toughest opposition. There are a lot of other great teams, don’t get me wrong, but those guys are the best.”

Boudreau says the Ducks have made adjustments to match the bruising style the Kings like to play.

“We gotten bigger this year,” he said. “For the most part, our goaltending has been equal to theirs. Their goaltending is great, whether it’s [Martin] Jones or [Jonathan] Quick. We’ve been able to match up a little bit better this year than we did last year.”

BACK IN THE LINEUP
After being a healthy scratch last night, Dustin Penner will return to the lineup for the next two games against the Kings, according to Boudreau.

“I wanted him to play against the Kings on Thursday and Saturday where he’ll have a little more jump,” he said. “I thought it was a good time to rest him on the eve of those games. We’ve got 14 forwards and they’re all playing well. It’s a tough decision on who sits and who doesn’t sit. I’ve told them if you're sitting because you’re playing bad, I’ll tell you. If you’re sitting because we have to move everybody in and out of the lineup, we want to keep everybody involved.”

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 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 CHI 75 45 24 6 213 175 96
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 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
J. Wisniewski 66 8 26 -14 34
C. Fowler 76 7 27 5 34
H. Lindholm 74 7 26 23 33
M. Beleskey 63 22 10 15 32
 
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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