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X-Factor: Ducks' McGinn in right place

Combination of size, scoring suits Anaheim

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It began with a couple of after-hours trades.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray was gaining a reputation for such transactions after he completed two between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. PT on Jan. 16 to acquire forwards David Perron and Ryan Garbutt.

Literally overnight, the Ducks lineup took on a different look with longtime linemates and team leaders Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on different lines and Perron as Getzlaf's new left wing. With Rickard Rakell having a breakout season on the second line and a shut-down third line centered by Ryan Kesler, the Ducks looked deeper than ever.

They still needed one more forward to pull it all together.

Then came the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 29, and Murray was forced to deal during daylight hours. By that afternoon the Ducks had what they needed to plug the hole on the left side of the second line: Jamie McGinn.

Since arriving in Anaheim, McGinn has been a difference-maker and could continue that role in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if he brings the same combination of skill, effort and energy.

"He's more physical than I thought he was," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He finishes his checks, he goes to the net, he's a big body. He's somebody that we definitely needed and Bob did a good job in getting him."

Video: CGY@ANA: McGinn grabs rebound, fires in backhand

What the Ducks needed, and received, in McGinn was size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds), skill and scoring. But Anaheim doesn't like to sacrifice defense for scoring and it didn't have to in McGinn.

He understood Anaheim's system creates most of its offensive chances by playing strong defense and forechecking. He capitalized on his strengths and produced, with eight goals and four assists in 21 games with the Ducks after arriving from the Buffalo Sabres.

"I'm just trying to keep it simple and play my game and not do anything out of the ordinary that I'm not used to doing," McGinn said. "I'm put in a situation here where I'm trying to succeed doing what I do best, and that's just working hard and being physical."

McGinn mostly has played on a line with Rakell and Perry, and has spent time on the top line with Getzlaf after Perron sustained a shoulder injury March 19.

"With the two guys I'm playing with right now, it's just putting the puck in their hands and going to the dirty areas and getting to the net," McGinn said. "Right now that formula is working and I'm not really going to change a thing. That's what I do and that's what I've been taught to do as well."

Heading to the playoffs has inspired McGinn to work even harder in hopes of creating something special with his new team.

"I've enjoyed every moment of it," he said. "It's a pretty amazing group in here and a good locker room so it's exciting. I can't wait to get back to the postseason."

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