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Ducks Eagerly Await Their Second-Round Opponent

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:53 PM / News
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Ducks Eagerly Await Their Second-Round Opponent
On yet another blustery afternoon in Anaheim, the Ducks took part in a rigorous practice to stay sharp for Game 1 of the upcoming second round. Who they\u2019ll play will be determined tonight during the Kings-Sharks Game 7 in San Jose (7 p.m. PT).
PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

On yet another blustery afternoon in Anaheim, the Ducks took part in a rigorous practice to stay sharp for Game 1 of the upcoming second round. Who they’ll play will be determined tonight during the Kings-Sharks Game 7 in San Jose (7 p.m. PT).

The Ducks say they’ll be watching tonight’s game from a fan’s perspective instead of through the eyes of an analyst. “I’ll be watching more as a fan than anything,” said captain Ryan Getzlaf. “There aren’t a lot of hockey games that I watch and dissect. There’s nothing these teams are going to throw at us that’s going to surprise us at this point.”

The second round figures to be exciting and surreal for Long Beach native Emerson Etem, no matter which team the Ducks face. His good friend, Matt Nieto, is a winger for the Sharks, and Etem attended Kings games throughout his youth. The 21-year-old was drafted by Anaheim in the first round in 2010 when the event was held at Staples Center.

“We have a little bit of bad blood between the two teams,” he said. “Either way, it’s going to be an exciting series. If we play San Jose, then I’ll play my good buddy Matt Nieto. That’ll be a fun test. LA is just an all-around playoff team. You see it every year. I’m ready for the test.”

Etem says he’ll be taking in tonight’s game as a fan, but will keep an eye out on the standout players. “If you critique it too much, or look too much into it, it becomes too much,” he said. “I’m definitely going to be watching for who’s producing, and just make sure we’re ready to go no matter what.”

The normally outgoing Ben Lovejoy has been all business since the postseason began. Sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and a serious game face, Lovejoy says he can’t wait to get the second round started. “Personally, I was hoping the series would end last game [Game 6] because I hate having this week of practice,” he said. “We had a really hard practice yesterday. No matter who we’re going to be playing, they’re going to be coming in with a successful Game 7 mentality, and we need to be ready for that.”

Of the Kings and Sharks, Lovejoy said, “They’re both elite teams. The Kings bring a defensive mentality with great goaltending. The core of their team has recently won a Stanley Cup. The Sharks bring a lineup very similar to ours: high-end skill, high-end speed. They’re a very difficult team to play against, and both pose very difficult matchups.”

Head coach Bruce Boudreau offered his thoughts on what makes the Sharks and Kings so dangerous. “The Sharks’ forward depth and the speed they come at you with…there’s just no weak link in any of their forward lines,” he said. “LA has different kinds of strengths. They’re bigger and stronger on the boards. They’ve got a history of knowing what it takes to win. They both have star power.”

NOTES
Boudreau says the banged-up players are “getting healthier,” but decided to keep a couple guys off the ice for an extra day for precautionary reasons. “Getzy [Ryan Getzlaf] said he felt fine, and that’s a big improvement,” Boudreau said. “Mathieu Perreault said he felt fine this morning, but we’ll just keep him off the ice until tomorrow. And the same with Matt Beleskey.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 21 12 4 5 58 53 29
2 NSH 20 13 5 2 57 42 28
3 CGY 22 13 7 2 71 61 28
4 STL 20 13 6 1 53 41 27
5 VAN 20 13 6 1 61 60 27
6 LAK 21 11 6 4 57 49 26
7 CHI 20 12 7 1 62 40 25
8 SJS 23 10 9 4 62 64 24
9 WPG 21 10 8 3 43 47 23
10 MIN 19 11 8 0 54 43 22
11 DAL 21 8 9 4 61 72 20
12 ARI 21 9 10 2 53 65 20
13 COL 21 7 9 5 53 67 19
14 EDM 21 6 13 2 49 74 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 20 6 13 0 19
S. Vatanen 21 5 12 -2 17
C. Perry 16 11 5 7 16
R. Kesler 21 6 9 -3 15
C. Fowler 20 2 9 1 11
M. Beleskey 21 9 1 4 10
J. Silfverberg 21 1 9 5 10
D. Smith-Pelly 18 3 4 3 7
A. Cogliano 21 3 4 -2 7
H. Lindholm 21 2 5 7 7
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 8 2 4 .918 2.18
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28

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