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Practice Report: Ducks Eager to Face Kings in "Battle for Southern California"

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 4:02 PM / News
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Practice Report: Ducks Eager to Face Kings in \"Battle for Southern California\"
For the first time in hockey history, the Ducks will face the rival LA Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. All the action begins on Saturday night here inside Honda Center in the \u201CBattle for Southern California.\u201D After practice this morning, the Ducks shared their thoughts on taking their rivalry with the Kings to a new and unprecedented level.
PHOTOS FROM PRACTICE
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

For the first time in hockey history, the Ducks will face the rival LA Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. All the action begins on Saturday night here inside Honda Center in the “Battle for Southern California.” After practice this morning, the Ducks shared their thoughts on taking their rivalry with the Kings to a new and unprecedented level.

“It’s exciting,” said Matt Beleskey. “Ducks-Kings has never happened, so it’s going to be fun and exciting series for everyone. The fans might be able to see a couple of games on the road and at home. It’s going to be a great series.”

“It’s very intense,” said Nick Bonino on the rivalry. “It’s a physical rivalry. There are so many hits, fights, and everything. It definitely brings the intensity up and it’s a lot like the regular season when we play these guys.

“They’ve got tons of Kings fans in our building, and we’ve got Ducks fans in theirs. I’m expecting to see more of that.”

Cam Fowler says the Kings play an old school style of hockey that, at its core, is simple, smart and physical. “They play with big bodies and finish all of their checks,” he said. “They’re going to do things simple, and that’s what’s made them so successful. They play a very tight system and they’re tough to score goals on.”

“We’ve played against the Kings so many times, we all know each other,” said Ryan Getzlaf. “It’s just going to be a good, hard-fought battle. There are no surprises. We’re excited to get things started.”

Head coach Bruce Boudreau says LA’s impressive comeback against the Sharks reminds him of the team’s 2012 Stanley Cup run. “They just kept coming, and didn’t deviate from the way they played,” he said. “They had four lines playing. And [Jonathan] Quick was looking so much more like Quick in the last four games than he did in the first three. That’s good for them.”

HART TROPHY FINALIST
Earlier today, the Ducks announced that captain Ryan Getzlaf has been named a finalist for the 2013-14 Hart Memorial Trophy by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA). The Hart Trophy is awarded annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24 during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.

Getzlaf, 28, is the fourth player in Ducks history to be named a finalist for the award, joining Corey Perry in 2010-11, Teemu Selanne in 1997-98 (finished third in voting) and Paul Kariya in 1996-97 (second in voting). Only seven other players from California-based teams have been Hart Trophy finalists in the history of the NHL.

“It’s an honor to be a part of a group like that,” Getzlaf said. “With the success our team has had, it’s a real honor for me. It’s been a great year.”

Getzlaf scored 31-56=87 points with a +28 rating in 77 regular-season games. The 6-1, 221-pound center led the Ducks in scoring, assists and power-play points (23), and ranked third in plus/minus. He set career highs in goals and game-winning goals (7), while finishing second in the NHL in scoring, fifth in assists, tied for sixth in even-strength goals (26), and tied for second among forwards in blocked shots (87).

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 33 22 9 2 102 67 46
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
7 WPG 33 17 10 6 80 76 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 31 13 13 5 89 104 31
12 COL 32 11 13 8 83 100 30
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 33 7 20 6 69 110 20

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 34 12 25 7 37
R. Kesler 35 11 15 -2 26
S. Vatanen 35 9 15 -1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 35 15 3 11 18
C. Fowler 34 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 35 4 12 3 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 27 2 12 -5 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41

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