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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 5:47 PM

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

Koivu line provides shutdown trio for Ducks

ANAHEIM Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is not typically a matchup coach. He generally prefers to mix and match as needed. But that philosophy changed, at least for Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Why?

"Once we found out who we were playing [it changed]," Boudreau said.

Boudreau used his Daniel Winnik-Saku Koivu-Andrew Cogliano line against Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader, holding Detroit's top trio to four shots through 40 minutes. It finished with 12, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg each were a minus-1 in a 3-1 loss.

Noted Ducks killer Datsyuk had one shot on goal in 20:46 minutes of ice time.

"I feel like when you’re in battles with them, they’re so strong you have to do your best in winning them," Cogliano said. "I feel like every battle I won against those guys last night, it took everything out of me just because they’re so strong. Your best defense is the offense and forecheck. I feel like we did a good job forechecking them."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 3:37 PM

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

Beauchemin-Souray pairing split for Game 1

ANAHEIM -- Sheldon Souray and Francois Beauchemin were arguably the most effective defensive pairing in the NHL this season. They are a combined plus-38 and accounted for 13 of the 17 goals scored by Anaheim Ducks defensemen.

That's what makes it difficult to understand why coach Bruce Boudreau would split up the pair for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But that appears to be the case; Souray continued Tuesday to work with Ben Lovejoy while Beauchemin was with Cam Fowler.

Boudreau switched the pair a couple of practices ago but wouldn't say why, although there is some thought that one of them needs to be with a fast skater like Fowler to counter the Detroit Red Wings' skilled forwards.

"I'm not going to speculate or say why I'm doing things at this stage, but whatever we do there's a reason," Boudreau said Monday. "We're just not throwing names in a hat and pulling them out. We have a thought process that goes into everything. Trial and error, and you hope it works."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 2:44 PM

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

Boudreau has two goalies, and isn't afraid to use both

ANAHEIM -- The common thinking is that a team needs to ride one goalie to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But Bruce Boudreau's experience is not common.

Boudreau switched between Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov when he was coach of the Washington Capitals. In Boudreau's second season with the Anaheim Ducks, he has the option of Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth.

Hiller will get the start for Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Detroit Red Wings, although Boudreau coyly said, "I haven't stated that I'm going with Hiller yet" at the Tuesday morning skate.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.27.2013 / 2:32 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

With Greene sidelined, Kings turn to Ellerby

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings are already without captain Dustin Brown for their regular-season finale; now they will be without Matt Greene.

Greene has not skated with the team the past two days because of an undisclosed injury from Wednesday that is not related to his previous back surgery, coach Darryl Sutter said. Keaton Ellerby took Greene's place in the morning skate Saturday and will fill in when the Kings play a pivotal game against the San Jose Sharks.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 2:53 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings happy to be in, but know work remains

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- For a team that barely squeaked into the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Los Angeles Kings weren't really breathing a big sigh of relief Sunday.

Los Angeles clinched a berth when the Detroit Red Wings lost Saturday night, but they have bigger fish to fry as it sits fourth in the Western Conference standings going into a game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

"It's always nice when that 'X' appears in front of your team's name," Anze Kopitar said. "But we have some other business to take care of. We're shooting for home ice. That's been the goal for the last two weeks, and we're going to stick to it."

The defending Cup champions know last season was a historical anomaly. They were the first eighth seed to win the Cup, having started all four postseason series in another city.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 2:54 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings activate Greene off injured reserve

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It appears the Los Angeles Kings will get defenseman Matt Greene back into the lineup sooner than expected.

Greene was activated from injured reserve Thursday morning and is available to play his first game since he injured his back in the season opener Jan. 19. Coach Darryl Sutter was not available to reporters, but Greene said he was good to go against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"You got to play," Greene said. "You got to play some time, you know? Playoffs are every other day. Obviously you've got to play some games to try and get ready and see if I can handle it."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 3:56 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ducks, Blue Jackets each short a defenseman

ANAHEIM – The Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets each will be missing a piece of their defense Wednesday night.

Luca Sbisa will sit out with what Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau referred to as general soreness, and Columbus' Adrian Aucoin has a lower-body injury.

Sbisa appeared on the ice briefly at the morning skate then ducked back inside.

"He tried it and he said, 'Not tonight,'" Boudreau said.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 4:10 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings' Doughty happy with new partner Regehr

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – There were no apparent lineup changes for the Los Angeles Kings at their morning skate as they go into their series finale against the Anaheim Ducks. Coach Darryl Sutter has stuck with the defensive combination of Drew Doughty and Robyn Regehr, and Doughty likes having that stay-at-home type to balance out his freelancing.

"That gives me the opportunity to kind of jump up every time I can," Doughty said. "He’s always back there. He’s always solid. For the most part, I know what he’s going to do with puck. It’s going to be a simple play. He’s not going to make that saucer pass over a stick or anything like that. He’s either going to go straight up to the winger or over to me.

"I want the puck in my hands as much as I can have, and if he’s going to keep giving it to me, I love that. I think so far we’ve worked really well together. As we get used to each other, we’re going to get better and better."

Doughty said his slow start to the season was tough because he wasn’t putting up points. He took on an increased role with heavy minutes but he also adjusted with partners Jake Muzzin and Keaton Ellerby.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 3:43 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Getzlaf to take warm-ups, could play vs. Avalanche

ANAHEIM -- Ryan Getzlaf was talking to coach Bruce Boudreau when reporters were allowed into the Anaheim Ducks locker room Wednesday.

Presumably the two were discussing Getzlaf's status for the game against the Colorado Avalanche, but they could have been talking about the Rihanna concert Getzlaf attended the previous night.

"I loved the concert," Getzlaf said. "It was really good."

Regarding whether he will return from a three-game absence from a leg injury, Getzlaf looked more active at the skate but did not take part in the regular line rushes. He did sound optimistic, though, one week after he got tangled up with Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars.

"It felt good," Getzlaf said. "Things are moving along the way we wanted to, and there's a good chance I'll be in the lineup tonight. We’ll see."

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Posted On Monday, 04.08.2013 / 3:42 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Getzlaf remains questionable for Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Ryan Getzlaf skated for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury last week, but it's unknown if he will return Monday for the Anaheim Ducks when they face the Edmonton Oilers.

"It felt pretty good," Getzlaf said. "It responded the way we've kind of wanted it moving forward. We're kind of just waiting to make a decision on that [playing]. We've got a lot of time from now until then, so we'll see how it reacts after the skate this morning."

Getzlaf was injured when he got tangled with Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars in an awkward play during a game April 3. Anaheim won that game, lost to Dallas on Friday and won Sunday against the rival Los Angeles Kings.

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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday