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Posted On Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Andersen to start in goal for Ducks in Game 1

ANAHEIM -- Frederik Andersen stood tall, literally and figuratively, in goal during the regular season. The Anaheim Ducks would like that to continue in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Andersen will start Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, FS-SW, FS-W). It was a foregone conclusion that Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed at the morning skate.

"I just think, right now, Andersen's played the best," Boudreau said. "He gives us the best chance to win, so he'll be the one starting. It doesn't mean he'll be starting Game 2, but he's starting Game 1."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 4:26 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Ducks rookie Andersen could get start in Game 1

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau predictably wouldn't touch the question with a 10-foot hockey stick. He doesn't reveal his starting goalie and he didn't for Game 1 of the Ducks' Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Dallas Stars (10 p.m. ET, TSN, NBCSN).

All signs point to rookie Frederik Andersen, who has been Anaheim's best goalie in the final weeks of the regular season. He won five of his past six starts and finished 20-5 to lead all rookies in wins. Jonas Hiller has struggled and rookie John Gibson has three games of NHL experience.

"One of those three are going to play," Boudreau said Tuesday.

Andersen, who was first off the ice the past two practices, didn't say if he knew he was starting the Western Conference First Round opener against the Stars on Wednesday. The 24-year-old from Denmark is soft-spoken and deferential, but said he would have some juices flowing if Boudreau gives him the nod for his first career postseason start.

"I'll be excited," Andersen said. "This is what you play for all season. You work out all summer. You get to this point and you want to enjoy it too. I feel like we have a good group. We demand a lot from each other and we're going to have a good outcome, I hope."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 3:05 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks face Kings, seek top seed in West

ANAHEIM – Goalie Frederik Andersen has been the Anaheim Ducks' best option in net during the last weeks of the regular season, and it appears he will try to help them clinch the top seed in the Western Conference on Saturday night.

Andersen was off the ice first at the morning skate and fellow rookie goalie John Gibson stayed out for extra work. Goalie Jonas Hiller reportedly said he wasn't playing Saturday and wasn't on the ice.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said he wanted to give Andersen a start this weekend because he hasn't played since April 4, when he took a shot off his mask by Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber.

"I think it's important just because he got a little bit dinged up in the last game and he hasn't played since then, and he didn't start that game," Boudreau said. "So we want to get a good start in him. He hasn't started a game in a week, and [we want to] get him feeling ready, so all three goalies can feel ready."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 3:53 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Boudreau silent on whether Gibson starts for Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is known to be coy when it comes to his lineup, and he was on top of his game when asked about his starting goalie for Wednesday.

Rookie John Gibson came off the ice first at the morning skate, usually an indicator he will start in a potential Pacific Division title-clinching game for Anaheim against the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center. Goalie Jonas Hiller stayed on for work.

"I'm not saying he's in," Boudreau said of Gibson. "He may have come off first, but there was a reason for that."

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Posted On Friday, 04.04.2014 / 4:13 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hiller returns to goal for Ducks after 'mental rest'

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks will go back to goaltender Jonas Hiller Friday against the Nashville Predators.

It wasn't much of a surprise given Hiller has had three games off, but there was some thought the Ducks might continue to ride rookie backup Frederik Andersen, who went 3-0-0 in place of Hiller and is 19-5-0.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau wanted to give Hiller time off and felt he was ready after a high-energy practice Thursday.

"We were thinking that he just needed a mental rest, not a physical rest," Boudreau said. "He'll be back in. He's been very sharp in practice the last two games. We're expecting a big game from him tonight."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 3:13 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings a win away from clinching playoff spot

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Anze Kopitar said he wasn't aware that his Los Angeles Kings could clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. The center was informed by a reporter at the morning skate, and it was welcome news.

"It will be one goal that we've accomplished," Kopitar said. "I think we've been in that third spot in our division forever. It really was, pretty much, the whole season. But it's nice to have fate in your own hands with a win [Wednesday] and put everything away, all the calculations. It's a division game, which is obviously huge. We know them. They know us. So I'm sure they're going to be fired up."

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Posted On Monday, 03.31.2014 / 2:34 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings' Greene doing whatever he can to support team

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene is an alternate captain and is known as one of the team's toughest players, a stubborn penalty killer and a big body.

But the Kings haven't had any room in the lineup for him lately, and the veteran understands.

"You always want to play," Greene said. "You always want to play and be out there. Right now we're winning games and you can't complain about that."

Greene has been a healthy scratch in 14 of the past 15 games as defenseman Alec Martinez has ably filled a spot on the third defense pairing. It wasn't certain if Greene would play Monday against the Minnesota Wild (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN); there were no extra skaters at the morning skate. Greene's next game will be the 500th of his career.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.29.2014 / 3:39 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Defenseman Martinez finding offense with Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez is living proof that consistent playing time can help a player find their rhythm.

He has been a regular part of the Kings' lineup since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, collecting six goals and five assists in 13 games going into Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center.

Martinez's 10 goals are one fewer than forwards Mike Richards and Tyler Toffoli.

"I think I've been able to get into a rhythm," Martinez said. "It's like in anything in life, especially as an athlete, you get into a rhythm of playing in games. When you're in and out of the lineup sometimes, it's the little plays that are hard … those are the ones that make the difference."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.18.2014 / 3:54 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Robidas to make Ducks debut vs. Capitals

ANAHEIM -- Stephane Robidas has played 871 regular-season games in the NHL, but he'll have some butterflies for No. 872.

The defenseman is expected to make his Anaheim Ducks debut Tuesday against the Washington Capitals at Honda Center. Robidas was partnered with Bryan Allen in the morning skate.

"I think the main thing is [that] I've got to keep everything really simple," Robidas said. "It's a new team for me. It's the first time in a while, so there's a lot of things going on for me [Tuesday]. But I'm very excited. I've been waiting for that moment for a long time. I'm a little nervous, but at the same time I'm excited, so it's good."

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Posted On Monday, 03.17.2014 / 3:13 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Greene to return to Kings' lineup against Coyotes

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two straight one-goal losses have prompted the Los Angeles Kings to tweak their lineup.

It appears that defenseman Matt Greene will be inserted Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes (10:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-CA). Greene came off with the regulars at the morning skate while defenseman Jake Muzzin stayed out as an extra with captain Dustin Brown, although Muzzin took rushes with usual partner Drew Doughty and others.

Greene has been scratched in eight straight games and last played Feb. 26 as coach Darryl Sutter opted for the more offensive-minded Alec Martinez. Greene would give Los Angeles another physical element and another player to use on the penalty kill.

Muzzin has struggled with consistency and had at least one costly lapse Saturday when Anaheim Ducks forward Matt Beleskey spun past him to begin a possession that led to a goal in a 2-1 loss.

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— Center Derek Stepan after agreeing to terms on a six-year contract with the New York Rangers