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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

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 52 21 17 -3 38
R. Getzlaf 48 5 33 9 38
R. Rakell 49 13 15 -2 28
R. Kesler 52 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 52 6 19 -1 25
C. Stewart 46 8 9 2 17
J. Silfverberg 52 6 11 -2 17
A. Cogliano 52 6 11 -9 17
H. Lindholm 51 6 8 -5 14
C. Fowler 39 3 9 -11 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 11 8 5 .920 2.27
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.13

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