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."
Andersen will make his NHL postseason debut.
"We've played him in an awful lot of tough towns," Boudreau said. "We played him twice in St. Louis, twice in San Jose. He's played twice in L.A. The teams in the Western Conference that have been tough places to play … we feel very comfortable with him in net."
Andersen, 24, said he was told "during the last couple of games" that he would start Game 1 instead of Jonas Hiller or John Gibson. Boudreau didn't know who would serve as backup. It's an impressive rise for the 6-foot-4 Andersen.
"In the summer you work toward earning a spot, and when you're in a spot you want to take the next step and stay," Andersen said. "When you get up here on a daily basis you want to push yourself … everything is steps. I think it's been good so far."
Anaheim is ready to expunge memories of last season's first-round loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Forward Teemu Selanne, who will play in his 118th playoff game, said there was a different feeling when he came to the rink.
"It's like a racehorse in the morning, on race day," Selanne said. "That's a good thing."
"He's just not able to skate," Ruff said. "He's not comfortable to enough to skate."
Here are the projected lineups:
|Back to top|