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The Ducks also got another titanic effort from Jonas Hiller, who stopped all 31 shots from
“We were more effective after we got the lead than any other game we’ve played,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said.” That is encouraging for us. There was a lot of grit and determination displayed. That is what it’s going to take because we know going into
By putting the Sharks in a 3-1 hole, the Ducks have taken a major advantage in the series. But that can all go away in the blink of an eye if Anaheim does not finish what it has started, eliminate and advance to the second round. The Ducks will get the first crack at that fate Saturday night at HP Pavilion.
|2009 Conference Quarterfinal|
Historically, the Ducks have faired well in close-out games. In their previous six trips to the postseason, Anaheim has a 10-3 record (6-1 since 2005-06) in games where they could clinch a series. While it’s been an easier task in the past at home (8-0 all-time) than on the road (2-3), the Ducks want to reverse that trend beginning with the time the puck is dropped on Saturday.
“We have to be in their face from the get-go,” said Corey Perry of Game 5. “It’s going to be huge for our team. If we can get that first goal and set them back on their heels a little bit, that is when we’re at our best.”
Said Whitney, “They’re playing for their season, so they’ll come out flying. It’s about weathering the storm and playing well. If we can play the first 10 minutes real solid, not be down and possibly get one goal ourselves, it will put us in good shape.”
"We have to squash the reputation that we've developed," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "We're probably a game or two late for already starting. ... Right now, our character is being questioned. It's our job to prove people right or wrong."
Of the 229 teams that have gone up 3-1 in a Stanley Cup Playoff series, 209 have gone on to win the series (91.3 percent). The Sharks are one game away from becoming the fourth Presidents' Trophy winner to lose in the first round since the NHL began handing out the award in 1986. The St. Louis Blues did it in 2000, and the Detroit Red Wings lost to Edmonton three years ago after compiling 124 points.
The current scenario seemed almost unimaginable for both the Ducks and Sharks just seven weeks ago. But the biggest task of all is lying at the feet of Anaheim – the fourth and final victory. If they secure it, they can make everything, including Whitney’s statement from two weeks ago, a permanent reality.
“We haven’t done anything yet really,” said Whitney after Friday’s practice at Honda Center before the team departed to
Said Ryan Getzlaf, "We're going to go in with the mentality that we want to get that win in San Jose. We don't want to prolong it any longer. We know what we're up against. (The Shark Tank) hasn't been a friendly building for anybody this year. We know we're going to get their best effort."