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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Friday, 04.17.2015 / 7:52 PM

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

Ducks, Jets preparing for physical Game 2

ANAHEIM -- The number of hits grew with each period as bodies bounced off each other at Honda Center in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

There were 39 combined hits after one period and 64 after two periods. The final number was 83, which set the tone for the rest of the best-of 7 series which continues with Game 2 (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME) at Honda Center on Saturday.

"I don't think Winnipeg or us are going to turn into a bunch of ballerinas and play that kind of game," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said after practice Friday. "We're both physical teams and there was a lot of hits. That's what makes seven-game series so interesting. I don't think too much will change. If anything, it will get ramped up because when you don't play a team since January, usually what happens in a series like this is you start to really dislike other people, and that becomes more evident as games go on."

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Posted On Friday, 04.17.2015 / 7:04 PM

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

Kesler providing intangibles for Ducks

ANAHEIM -- It was not breaking news that linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry came up big for the Anaheim Ducks in a 4-2 Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

The two have experience in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and now have Ryan Kesler as a teammate after years of having to play against him. Kessler won 16 of 21 faceoffs and drew a roughing that led to a power-play goal.

"He does so many of the little things that don't end up on the scoreboard that makes him valuable: plays hard against anybody, knows his position," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday. "It's not all about goals and assists, but he's a really solid second-line center that can play against any team's top center."

Part of Winnipeg's game plan in Game 2 of the best-of-7 series on Saturday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME) is to get under Anaheim's skin, but Kesler is one of the NHL's best pests who knows when to back off, as was the case in goading in Mark Scheifele into an after-the-whistle jab.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 4:25 PM

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

Jets forward Perreault game-time decision at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) is a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME).

Perreault skated Thursday morning but did not take part in line rushes and was not made available to the media.

"We'll see how he comes back tonight and make a decision then," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Perreault provided scoring and skill when he was with Anaheim, and that's something the Jets could use if and when Perreault plays in the best-of-7 series.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 3:01 PM

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

Ducks' Wisniewski a healthy scratch against Jets

ANAHEIM -- The major piece that the Anaheim Ducks acquired before the NHL Trade Deadline will be a scratch for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at Honda Center (CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME, 10:30 p.m. ET).

Defenseman James Wisniewski said it is disappointing, particularly after he rejoined Anaheim prior to the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"You're never really expecting this when you kind of get traded to a playoff-contending team, but it is what it is," Wisniewski said. "You've got to be ready to play when called upon and be a professional, and help in any way possible. [You have to have a] work ethic in practices and try and be a leader, and help out anybody else with whatever you can."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.15.2015 / 8:13 PM

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

Maurice plays up Jets' underdog status against Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The Winnipeg Jets arrived here with considerable excitement after clinching their first Stanley Cup Playoff berth since the franchise moved to Winnipeg in 2011

They also arrived as underdogs in their Western Conference First Round series against the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks, and Jets coach Paul Maurice knows that.

"The standings are a fact. We have confidence in our team. They finished first; we finished eighth," he said. "The puck is gonna drop, when that time comes, nobody's got a media guide with them; where you finished doesn't matter. The facts are what they are; we are the underdog, but we have confidence in our game, and they have confidence in theirs."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.15.2015 / 7:37 PM

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

Jets forward Perreault to be game-time decision

ANAHEIM -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault will be a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME), Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said.

Perreault, who missed the regular-season finale because of a lower-body injury, came onto the ice at the end of Winnipeg's practice Wednesday to work on his own. He played for Anaheim last season before signing with Winnipeg as a free agent July 1.

Anaheim center Nate Thompson and goalie John Gibson each did not practice for the third straight day because of an upper-body injury.


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Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 5:04 PM

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

Ducks' Andersen confident about making Game 1 start

ANAHEIM -- It's become clear that Frederik Andersen will be the starting goalie for the Anaheim Ducks to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the status of two other players are unknown.

Goalie John Gibson did not practice for a second straight day Tuesday because of an upper-body injury, which further confirms Andersen will start Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME).

Gibson was injured in practice last Friday, the day before the regular-season finale. His status is not known and Boudreau told reporters Monday he won't be giving out injury updates. Center Nate Thompson has not practiced since he sustained an upper-body injury last Saturday from going into the boards awkwardly.

Andersen is aware Boudreau wouldn't hesitate to switch between him and Gibson when the latter gets healthy. Andersen knows he's the guy but said, "It's not really set in stone, other than Game 1, maybe."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 4:02 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks are expected to return three players to the lineup to try and clinch the top seed in the Western Conference for the Stanley Cup Playoffs but it is unclear if captain Ryan Getzlaf will play Wednesday against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).

Getzlaf did not skate and coach Bruce Boudreau indicated that Getzlaf, who typically doesn't skate, was getting the morning off. But when pressed further, Boudreau said coyly that "maybe he's getting the morning off."

Getzlaf sat out last Friday and Boudreau referenced that Getzlaf wasn't fully healthy, although Getzlaf has practiced the past two days.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.04.2015 / 6:57 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown recently ended a lengthy goal drought and will try to build off it Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN, ALT, FS-W).

"There's two types of slumps," said Brown, who went 19 games without a goal. "Slumps where you're not getting a sniff or not getting any looks. This last one I've had, it's kind of ironic that's the one that goes in the net, a sharp-angle shot. I've had point-blank chances that I haven't been able to bury. It's frustrating to go that long without a goal but it's also probably more frustrating to go half that time and not have any chances. It's just about staying with it."

The Kings are two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, but they have played one fewer game. Los Angeles is one point behind the Calgary Flames for third place in the Pacific Division.

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Posted On Friday, 04.03.2015 / 3:46 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks right wing Stefan Noesen was understandably beaming when reporters approached him Friday about being recalled from the American Hockey League before Anaheim played the Colorado Avalanche at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; SN1, ALT, PRIME).

Noesen's career has been set back by two serious injuries: a torn ACL in his left knee in October 2013 and an Achilles injury when he was cut by an opponent's skate blade in October 2014.

"It's been a long road," Noesen said. "When I got the phone call, I was very, very happy, as you can imagine."

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Quote of the Day

I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored. It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Steven Stamkos broke a long scoring drought and Tampa Bay's struggling power play scored four times in Game 2 at Montreal