REFRESHED AND READY
The Anaheim Ducks got outta Dodge after their disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to the Flames on Tuesday.
The team decided to spend the two days between matches in Banff in an attempt to avoid the hockey-crazed city of Calgary and search for some rest and relaxation.
"I think it was good to get away -- if you're in Calgary it's so hockey mad at this point, everywhere you would have turned there would have been something written or something on TV," said Ducks' coach Bruce Boudreau. "We just stayed away from all of that and focused on what we had to do and I think the guys came away refreshed.
"I'm glad we went, I didn't know if it would be a good thing or a bad thing but we took the chance and I thought it was good for the guys to get there and out without the scrutiny of being in Calgary."
Boudreau and his staff ran a full practice at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre yesterday and returned to Calgary in the afternoon.
"It was nice to kind of step away and turn the brain off for a day," said Ryan Getzlaf, who sits fourth in NHL playoff scoring with 12 points in seven games. "We had a really good practice yesterday, I thought it was very intense and what we needed."
LET'S GET PHYSICAL
The Ducks weren't happy with their game on Tuesday and fell like they have a lot left in the tank.
The first order of business is to pick up the intensity level as well as increase their physical play -- they're trademark throughout the season.
"Our makeup is to play physical, win the boards, those kinds of things," Getzlaf said. "We got away form that a little bit last game I thought. They outworked us in some areas of the game and we're going to have to be better in those areas tonight."
Although the Flames power play has struggled in the series, staying out of the box is also a recipe for success while maintaining the physicality. The Ducks gave Calgary six power play opportunities and the Flames converted when it mattered most.
"You've got to watch your sticks, the same thing we always do," Getzlaf said. "From game-to-game you're going to take penalties. Our penalty kill was big. We had a 5-on-3 at the end of the game that obviously hurt us but those are tough to stop at the best of times."
Getting into a shootout with the Flames is something Anaheim would prefer to avoid, if possible.
"I think that's the way we would like to play it -- within the rules, of course," Boudreau said. "We're a team that plays physical when we succeed. if we don't and we get into run-and-gun games usually we're not as successful."
After tonight the series is either all square, at 2-2 -- and a best-of-three the rest of the way -- or the Ducks will seize control of any momentum Calgary has built up going home with a commanding 3-1 lead.
It's obvious this game is just as big for the Ducks as it is the Flames.
"It's a game that we feel we need to win, we don't want to give these guys anymore life than they already have," Getzlaf said. "They played a great game last time and we've got to be ready for Game 4 and play our best game of the series."
Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler likes the chances of advancing if his team can come out on top tonight.
"If we're able to go back to our home building up 3-1 it gives us two good opportunities to close things out in our home building and hopefully get things done in Anaheim," he said. "That's why tonight is a huge match-up for us and we understand the type of group they have and the resiliency they have so we have to come out and dictate our form of play tonight and hope for the best."
"The key for us is to gain control of the puck and get it in their zone and forecheck. It's something we definitely let up doing last game and I don't think it's a secret. It's something that we can do much better and when we do that it gets everyone else going."
- Bruce Boudreau, stating what can lead to the Ducks' success
DUCKS PROJECTED LINEUP
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Tomas Fleischmann - Rickard Rakell - Andrew Cogliano
Kyle Palmieri - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler - Simon Despres
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen
John Gibson (Backup - recovered from flu)
Boudreau is expected to insert veteran pivot Tomas Fleischmann into the lineup for the first time in the series.
For Fleischmann, it's an opportunity to make an impression and hopefully stick in a very deep Duck's roster.
"You've got to show the coach you want to stay in the lineup -- that's what it is," said Fleischmann, who was acquired by Anaheim from the Florida Panthers in a trade for forward Dany Heatley and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. "Hopefully I do that tonight and we've got to play hard -- all four lines, not just the one."
Fleischmann brings 31 games of NHL playoff experience to the table split between Washington and Florida.
"He's a veteran of many playoff [games]," Boudreau said. "He played really well for us in the Winnipeg series I thought. He's a skilled player but he's played in tough situations before so I think he'll bring a little bit of that whole thing to our game tonight."
Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Ducks will be broadcast on Sportsnet (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio). Game time is 7:30 PM MT.
The Calgary Flames official Twitter account (@NHLFlames) will be live-tweeting the game and providing pre and post-game content. Fans can also follow along on the Flames official Instagram account (@NHLFlames) for exclusive, behind-the-scenes content. Use the hashtags #NeverQuit and #CGYvsANA.
The Calgary Flames official app is another way to follow along with the action, with goal and period summary notifications. The app is free and available to download on iTunes and Google Play.