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TV: NBCSN, TSN, FS-D
Last 10: Detroit 5-2-3; Anaheim 5-4-1
Season series: The Ducks won the opening game of the season series on February 15 in Detroit, but lost consecutive games at Honda Center on March 22 and 24.
Big story: The Ducks and Red Wings are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time (1997, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2013). Since the 1997 playoffs, no other two clubs have met in the postseason more than Anaheim and Detroit. Two other matchups have also occurred six times since 1997 – Dallas vs. Edmonton, and Buffalo vs. Philadelphia. The Ducks have faced no other NHL team more than twice in the playoffs (have faced Dallas and Minnesota twice each).
Ducks: The Ducks didn't exactly steamroll their way into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 4-4-1 to start April before winning three of their final four. However, coach Bruce Boudreau said he saw some positives in the team's final game, a 5-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Ducks put 46 shots on net, which Boudreau certainly liked.
"The effort of playoff-mode hockey was there [Saturday]," Boudreau told AnaheimDucks.com. "We played a pretty good defensive team and we ended up with 46 shots on goal, and sometimes that's misleading, but we had some great chances to score and we just never put it in. Hopefully starting Tuesday, if we have that same kind of effort, we'll get a couple more bounces our way."
Teemu Selanne and Francois Beauchemin scored two of the goals, and getting scoring from places other than the top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan will be key for advancing in the postseason.
"In the playoffs, I've always said you're as good as your weakest link," Selanne told AnaheimDucks.com. "Raise that bar as high as you can. Everybody's first line is good. Second line, too. But those third and fourth lines are how you're going to win. I remember in 2007 with [Samuel] Pahlsson, [Rob] Niedermayer and [Travis] Moen, a lot of nights they were our best line. That's what we need."
Red Wings: Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser will be skating in their first Stanley Cup Playoff games when the Red Wings start their first-round series against the Ducks. However, coach Mike Babcock isn't worried at all about his defense.
"We've really improved drastically in that area, probably the most improved part of our team," he told the team's website. "With Howie [goalie Jimmy Howard] playing the way he and the [defense] are able to get the puck going, we're spending a lot less time in our zone. That allows you to be much better up front."
Since DeKeyser arrived, Babcock has gone mostly with the same six blueliners -- veterans Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Kyle Quincey along with the three younger players. And with the team going 6-3-3 with DeKeyser in the lineup, there's no reason to change now.
"You have to learn on the go and I think we've been doing that this year," Smith told the team's website. "I think we heard a lot about our defense, about people not having faith in us, but I think we've done pretty well. I think our goals-against average is top 10 in the League, so it's something we're going to keep doing. We're going to keep playing hard like that, keep blocking shots and keep playing the same way we have of late, and I think it'll pay off for us."
Who's hot: Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf closed the regular season with points in three straight and seven of his final nine. ... Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg finished the regular season with four straight multi-point games, totaling two goals and eight assists.
Injury report: Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa (lower body) is questionable. ... Darren Helm (back) and Drew Miller (finger) are out for the Red Wings, while Mikael Samuelsson (pectoral) and Todd Bertuzzi (back) are questionable.
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