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Morning Report: Ducks Focused on Task at Hand

Wednesday, 04.9.2014 / 12:12 PM PT / News
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Morning Report: Ducks Focused on Task at Hand
MORNING SKATE PHOTOS
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

As the popular quote from Anchorman goes, “This…is a big one.”

Not only are two powerhouses of the Western Conference and the Pacific Division going at it late in the season, but the Ducks can clinch the division title against the rival Sharks with a victory tonight. This comes on the heels of Anaheim’s 3-0 victory over Vancouver two nights ago, a game in which 20-year-old goaltender John Gibson earned his first career victory (a shutout) in his NHL debut.

Though Gibson was the first off the ice after the morning skate, Boudreau remained coy when asked if the rookie netminder gets the start for the second consecutive game. “He may have come off first, but there are reasons for that,” Boudreau said. “We’ll see tonight. I don’t know if he’s in.”

No matter who’s in net, you can expect a playoff-type atmosphere inside Honda Center as the Ducks look to clinch their second consecutive Pacific Division title.

“The division has been our focus all year,” said Kyle Palmieri. “With the chance to do it at home against one of our biggest rivals is a pretty big opportunity for us, especially heading into the playoffs.”

Anaheim’s leading goal scorer, Corey Perry, says the win in Vancouver was a good way to build momentum for tonight’s game, and the two that follow. “It’s a big game for us,” he said. “With three games left, we want to go into the playoffs riding that high, and peaking at the right time.”

Not to be forgotten is the top spot in the Western Conference currently held by the St. Louis Blues. A win tonight would propel the Ducks to first place in the West, a point ahead of the Blues, who have lost three in a row. But Palmieri says the team’s immediate focus is locking up the Pacific.

“We’re just focused on playing our game,” he said. “We’re taking it a game at a time. Whether you’re first in the conference, the league, or division, you have to beat the best teams. That’s going to be the key heading into the playoffs.”

FOWLER UPDATE
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler took regular shifts during the morning skate alongside his familiar d-partner, Ben Lovejoy. Boudreau says Fowler will be a “game-time decision” tonight against the Sharks.

“Whenever he plays, we want to make sure we’re not rushing him in,” said Boudreau. “He’s got to be 100 percent healthy. If he’s 100 percent healthy, he’s good enough to play. But if we deem him 97 percent healthy at this stage of the year, we’ll wait three more days. We’ll find out at game time.”

‘IT’S THE BEST TIME FOR HOCKEY PLAYERS’
The ageless wonder, Teemu Selanne, has been in his fair share of big games throughout his 22-year NHL career. Selanne says these are the games hockey players live for.

“Getting close to the playoffs, even your body feels it,” he said. “It’s like a racehorse on race morning. They know it’s a race. That’s how we feel, too. From now on, it’s time to enjoy it.”

Selanne paces current Anaheim skaters in career scoring against the Sharks with 97 points (51g/46a) in 91 games.

“We have a lot of respect for those guys,” he said. “They’re a very good team. That’s why it’s always fun to play these big games.”

DUCKS-SHARKS
Anaheim and San Jose conclude a five-game season set Wednesday at Honda Center. The Ducks are 1-2-1 vs. the Sharks this season, including a 6-3 victory in the lone Honda Center game on December 31. Anaheim has gone 53-54-10 all-time against San Jose (24-26-5 mark at Honda Center). Ryan Getzlaf (1g/5a) leads the team in scoring vs. San Jose in 2013-14.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
8 ANA 49 24 18 7 106 113 55
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 51 24 21 6 136 156 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 49 22 24 3 129 145 47
13 WPG 50 22 25 3 129 143 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 49 20 14 -2 34
R. Getzlaf 45 4 30 5 34
R. Rakell 46 11 13 0 24
R. Kesler 49 11 13 -9 24
S. Vatanen 49 6 17 -1 23
J. Silfverberg 49 6 11 -4 17
C. Stewart 43 7 9 1 16
A. Cogliano 49 4 11 -11 15
H. Lindholm 48 5 8 -5 13
C. Fowler 36 3 9 -10 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 9 8 5 .918 2.37
J. Gibson 12 7 2 .923 1.92

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