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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 6:33 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Kings rest up at home, prepare for Game 2

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two days off between games meant two more days of analyzing a loss for the Los Angeles Kings, but at least they did so from home.

The Kings returned after a Game 1 loss to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round and there was something to be said for sleeping in their own beds and seeing their families before returning to San Jose for Game 2 on Sunday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NBCSN, FS-W, CSN-CA).

"To be honest, there's not a whole lot going on in downtown San Jose," Anze Kopitar said. "It was nice to come back here and get away from the circus that is going on [in the hockey world]. Just getting away a little bit, you feel comfortable around here. When you can sleep in your own bed for a couple of nights instead of hotel rooms, it's nice. Sometimes seeing your family and getting your mind away from everything helps."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 4:04 PM

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

Stars mull line changes; Smith-Pelly in for Ducks

ANAHEIM -- The top line of the Dallas Stars was effective in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round, but coach Lindy Ruff appears open to experimentation.

Veteran wing Ray Whitney took rookie Valeri Nichushkin's place with center Tyler Seguin and left wing Jamie Benn at the morning skate Friday before Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, FS-SW, PRIME).

"I didn't have the lines in colors today," Ruff told reporters. "I don't know how you came to that assumption. … I think you guys are busy chasing nothing."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 3:12 PM

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

Ducks' Getzlaf will play in Game 2 against Stars

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks are one game into their Western Conference First Round series and captain Ryan Getzlaf literally has his arms full.

The drama surrounding Getzlaf's return for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center (10 p.m. PT; NBCSN, TSN, FS-SW, PRIME) took another turn when Getzlaf and his wife, Paige, welcomed a daughter, Willa, early Friday morning. It is the couple's third child and first girl.

Getzlaf was not at the morning skate. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed Getzlaf will play after a long day.

"He's pretty tired today," Boudreau said. "He opted to take the morning off and get some rest, so I said yes."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 4:04 PM

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

X-rays on Getzlaf negative, expected for Game 2

ANAHEIM – Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has a deep facial laceration but X-rays were negative and he is expected to play in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series Friday night at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS (JIP), FS-SW, PRIME), according to the team.

Getzlaf was struck by Tyler Seguin's slap shot in the face with 16 seconds remaining in a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 1 on Wednesday night. He immediately left the ice and was seen with an ice pack to his face in the dressing room afterward.

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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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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic