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Pregame Report: Ducks Ready to Ramp Up Intensity Tonight in Game 2

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Kyle Shohara

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As the Ducks look to take a 2-0 series lead in this best-of-seven series vs. Winnipeg, the common theme inside the locker room this morning was the need for improvement. Captain Ryan Getzlaf, who notched three points (1g/2a) in Game 1, says the Ducks are going to have to meet Winnipeg’s push not only tonight, but for the remaining games of the series. And if it means ramping up the physicality (Anaheim dished out 46 of the 83 hits in Game 1), the Ducks are ready and willing.

“We’re going into it with the same mentality as last game,” said Getzlaf. “There is no more pressure to win any one game until you’re facing elimination. We know what we’re up against. They’re going to be a better group tonight, so we’ll have to be better as well. Last game, we played with a lot of excitement and controlled emotion. We were in the game right from the start.”

Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau says his team will have to kick it into a higher gear. “Everything in Game 2 right through to Game 7 ramps up a little bit,” he said. “Composure is going to be important. Just because we’re up 1-0, we can’t let up. We have to play better because we know they will play better.” Boudreau also emphasized the importance not committing unforced errors. “[Those] are things that kill you an awful lot,” he said. “We know what we’re supposed to be doing. If we have very few of those unforced errors, we’ll be on the right track.”

Managing emotions, Boudreau says, is going to play a key role throughout the series. For instance, Winnipeg forward Mark Scheifele’s unnecessary roughing penalty on Ryan Kesler late in the second period led to Corey Perry’s game-tying tally in the opening minute of the third period. “We’ve talked about it so much,” Boudreau said, regarding controlled emotion. “It’s something we know during the course of the year wasn’t very good on our part. [We] did a good job last game, but as the series gets ramped up, hopefully you can keep your cool under pressure.”

No lineup changes are expected for Anaheim tonight. Frederik Andersen stopped 25 of 27 shots in Game 1, and enters tonight’s action with a 4-2 record in eight career postseason contests. Patrick Maroon was Boudreau’s choice on the top line in Game 1 and earned an assist on Perry’s game-tying goal. The 6-2, 231-pound left wing also delivered three hits in 16:42 TOI. Maroon is continuing his point-per-game pace vs. Winnipeg, earning four assists in four games (including three regular season contests). Defensive pairings remained unchanged from Game 1, so James Wisniewski and Korbinian Holzer are the expected healthy scratches on the blueline. As for the forwards, it appears Jiri Sekac, Tomas Fleischmann and the injured Nate Thompson will be scratches.

Hampus Lindholm, on areas of improvement: “We could be a little bit more aware of their defense coming up. We need to use home ice advantage with line changes, and always having fresh guys out there. We need to come out a little harder in the second period. Otherwise, we’ll just keep going.”

On what he expects from the Jets tonight: “We knew it was going to be a battle in this series. It’s going to come down to determination and the will to win. That’s the fun part of it.”

Bruce Boudreau, on Sami Vatanen’s performance in Game 1: “It was a good confidence builder for him, not that he needs any confidence in himself. He had struggled a little bit since he came back from his injury, around 13 to 15 games ago. Even scoring his goal – that was his first since coming back – I think helped him. When he’s playing with confidence and moving the puck extremely well, good things usually happen. I’m happy for him. Hopefully he can continue at that pace because we need guys from the backend to help create offense.”

On the importance of winning faceoffs: “We talk about 50-50 battles in the faceoff dot all the time. It’s not just the centermen. There are so many pucks lying around there, it’s your wingers who help out. We got the better of the last two periods in that regard. When you start with possession of the puck, it’s usually out of your own or in their zone. Those are two vitals areas of the rink that you want to get to. Faceoffs are important. Kesler and Getzlaf take a lot of pride in that. The other guys are young, but they work on it.”

On if possession statistics have any impact on how he runs his bench: “It doesn’t have any impact on how I’m running the bench. We have matchups. If they’re not working, we change them. We don’t get the possession numbers after every period and say Oh wow, we better do something about this or that. I have faith in our guys. If Kesler’s line or Getzlaf’s line isn’t having a good period, we’ll be able to see that visually. I don’t need numbers to tell me they aren’t playing well. If that’s the case, we try to switch matchups.”

Patrick Maroon-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey-Ryan Kesler-Kyle Palmieri
Andrew Cogliano-Rickard Rakell-Jakob Silfverberg
Emerson Etem-Chris Wagner-Tim Jackman

Hampus Lindholm-Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler-Simon Despres
Clayton Stoner-Sami Vatanen
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