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Ducks ready to roll following marathon win

by Eric Stephens / NHL.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Even after a four-hour, 22-minute, three-overtime classic and a subsequent 4 ½-hour airplane ride back to the West Coast, Todd Marchant said he didn’t need to rush home to sleep and get ready for another important Stanley Cup Playoff game.

The unsung Anaheim Ducks center was doing just fine on Monday, less than 24 hours after he tied the Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings at one game apiece with his goal to win Game 2 – the second overtime winner of his 14-year career.

"[NBC analyst] Darren Pang asked me [before the third overtime], ‘Are you guys tired?’" Marchant said. "I said, ‘Heck no. This is the best.’ Chris Osgood said it best. It was a fun game to play. It was. You ask anybody in this dressing room. They enjoyed playing that game last night.

"As tired as we were, that’s what you live for. That’s what you train so hard for. It was a pleasure to be in it."

It became more of a pleasure for the Ducks to talk about thanks to Marchant's goal. Only a handful of players took to the Honda Center ice as the majority of combatants focused on getting themselves ready for a pivotal Game 3 Tuesday night. Rest and recuperation was the theme of the day.

"I just think they’re tired right now," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "The most important thing for the players and the athletes is to make sure that they have the proper nutrition and get as much rest as possible. Eat the proper foods here today. And then get a good night’s sleep and make sure that we take all the necessary steps to prepare for tomorrow night.

"It’s a very, very huge game for our hockey club and the Detroit Red Wings."

Following another sterling postseason performance, Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller said he felt he recovered well after facing 62 shots from the Red Wings. Hiller stopped 59 of them and was outstanding in the third period and overtime sessions.

"I think that I did a pretty good job last night so I felt good today," Hiller said. "My weight was still there like it normally is. I think I’m on the right track."

Fatigue could be a concern as the Ducks are leaning heavily on their top players. Center Ryan Getzlaf, who has a goal and four assists in the two games, logged just under 39 minutes to lead all forwards after playing a game-high 27:55 in Game 1.

"Obviously we’re kind of taking the necessary steps on the days off, hydrating and all that stuff in order for that not to happen," said Getzlaf, whose 13 points lead all playoff performers. "We need to get in a situation where we’re rolling four lines. The more we can do that, the better off we’ll be down the stretch."

The Ducks are also fortunate to be tied with the defending champions, given that the Wings have largely dominated the third period in both games, resulting in a last-minute goal by Nicklas Lidstrom to win Game 1 and a tally by Johan Franzen to send Game 2 into overtime.

"You’re going to be concerned about every period," Carlyle said. "We know that we’re playing a very talented hockey club. We’re playing the Stanley Cup champions. We know that they’re not going to go away in any game, in any situation. They’ve got veteran people that have been through the wars."
 

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