On the eve of arguably the biggest game of the season, the Ducks got back to work at Honda Center feeling rejuvenated for what figures to be an epic matchup against the rival LA Kings.
It has been two days since the Ducks ended their four-game road trip with a loss in Vancouver - a stinger that prevented the club from moving up in the playoff race. The Ducks came home with five out of a possible eight points, but forward Andrew Cogliano says the team needs to get back on track immediately.
"We were lucky to salvage the points that we did," he said. "We didn't play good hockey in any respect. We had a couple good periods here and there, but to get five out of eight, that is pretty lucky. [We] got by with a little bit of luck, and now [we] have to play the right way to get into the playoffs. We will get an idea of how bad we want to be in and how bad we want to play in the postseason. When you come home for four games, there is no better opportunity for that."
With five games left on the schedule and every point so critical, Cogliano says it shouldn't matter who their opponent is with a week left in the season. The team should be fired up to play. It just so happens that tomorrow night it comes against the Kings, a matchup that usually provides compelling theater.
"No matter who we play, we're in a situation where we need the points and so do they," Cogliano said. "You don't necessarily look at who we're playing, but LA usually brings out the best in us. We're at a point now where we need to start winning games. That is what it has come down to. We'll be prepared for that."
Troy Terry has had a few days to look back on his NHL debut in Vancouver. It was a whirlwind up until now, with the 20-year-old Highlands Ranch, Colorado native signing his three-year entry-level contract on Monday, flying to Vancouver later that night and making his debut on Tuesday.
Now that the dust settled, Terry says his NHL debut was everything he thought it would be.
"As a kid, it's what you dream of - to play in the NHL," he said. "When I was selected by Anaheim just a couple years ago in the fifth round, I didn't think this would even be an appropriate timetable for me to be doing this already. I always believed in myself. From going out early by myself to the whole game, it was pretty awesome."
He had a good laugh when he was asked about pregame warmups that night. Not only did he take the customary rookie solo lap, he did so without a helmet.
"They were all getting me to move along and hurry because I was going out first," Terry said. "I was getting dressed and couldn't find my helmet. They were all yelling at me and I couldn't find the helmet. I didn't want to be that guy on the first game who doesn't go out without a helmet, but I figured out they were messing with me."
Video: Troy Terry on his NHL debut, helmetless warmups