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Practice Report: Ducks, Honda Center Ready for Game 1

Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 1:40 PM PT / News
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Practice Report: Ducks, Honda Center Ready for Game 1
PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

On the eve of Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs, the Ducks took to the ice for a practice that had the look – and feel – of postseason hockey.

Honda Center’s ice is emblazoned with “Stanley Cup Playoffs” on each end, and the exterior of the building is wrapped in playoff-themed graphics. Meanwhile, the hallway outside the Ducks locker room was buzzing with a significantly larger group of television crews and media members eagerly awaiting player interviews.

And on the ice, head coach Bruce Boudreau led his team through a spirited workmanlike practice that lasted approximately 60 minutes.

The Ducks are a season removed from a heartbreaking first-round loss to the Detroit Red Wings, one that spawned the motto “Unfinished Business” throughout training camp and the regular season. Boudreau says last year’s early exit drove home the point that losing “isn’t fun,” but he feels his team is ready to take the next step.

“We’re ready and prepared,” he said. “They’ve played all year for this. We know we’re playing a really good opponent. I think we’ll make it a series.

“We’re deep, and I think we’ve proved we can play with most teams throughout the course of the year. The confidence that they can win is there.”

Teemu Selanne begins his final Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the 43-year-old, who was honored by the fans on Sunday night for his regular season finale, is eager to begin one last quest for a championship.

“This is the best time for hockey players,” he said. “You’ve got to enjoy every day and every moment. Every little thing matters. Even a little thing can turn the whole series around.”

Selanne uses the Francois Beauchemin-Jarome Iginla fight from the 2006 postseason as an example of how any one thing can change the momentum of an entire series. The Ducks were down, 3-2, in the series, when Beauchemin dropped Iginla with a vicious left a minute into the game. The Ducks wound up winning the contest, 2-1, then went on to blank the Flames, 3-0, in Game 7 at Calgary.

“The Calgary guys were big, strong and mean, and suddenly Beauchemin wins the fight,” Selanne said. “We felt they got smaller and weaker. We won the series. One thing here and there can make a big difference. That’s why the playoffs are what they are.”

Selanne says this current Ducks squad has that it factor that can take them as far as they want to go.

“I don’t think this team has any limits,” he said. “We can be as good as we want to be. It takes a lot of work and pride to do your job. In the playoffs, it doesn’t matter if you play four minutes or 25 minutes. Just do as good as you can, and give back to the team. You can’t ask for more than that.”

ROBI REUNION
Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas knew there was a chance he’d face his former team in the playoffs when he was traded to Anaheim on March 4 for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

And while he’ll see plenty of familiar faces on the other end of the ice tomorrow night, the 37-year-old blueliner says he’s just happy to have a chance at a Stanley Cup. Robidas has played in 44 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, earning 15 points (3g/12a) with 42 penalty minutes.

“I’m just excited to be in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s been five years, and I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. When I got traded here, I knew I was going to be in the playoffs. But it’s not about me. It’s about the Ducks.”

Robidas knows the Stars better than anyone else, and says they have skill up and down the lineup.

“They have lots of speed, skill, hard workers, good defensemen who can move the puck, and good goaltending,” he said. “They have good depth. They finished as the eighth seed, but you can’t take them for granted. It’s a good, young team.”

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
With the Ducks and Angels starting at the same time tomorrow night, fans are encouraged to arrive at Honda Center early to avoid traffic complications. In addition, there will be pre-game presentations that fans won’t want to miss.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 53 21 27 5 131 156 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 50 21 14 -2 35
R. Getzlaf 46 4 30 6 34
R. Rakell 47 11 15 1 26
R. Kesler 50 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 50 6 18 0 24
J. Silfverberg 50 6 11 -3 17
C. Stewart 44 7 9 1 16
A. Cogliano 50 5 11 -10 16
H. Lindholm 49 6 8 -4 14
C. Fowler 37 3 9 -9 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 10 8 5 .918 2.35
J. Gibson 12 7 2 .923 1.92

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