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Ducks Eagerly Await Their Second-Round Opponent

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 12:53 PM PT / News
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Ducks Eagerly Await Their Second-Round Opponent
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 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 22 9 7 .919 2.30
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07

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