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Steady Beauchemin sets Ducks playoff goals record

by Curtis Zupke /

ANAHEIM -- Francois Beauchemin won't be teasing Scott Niedermayer anytime soon.

Beauchemin didn't even know he broke Niedermayer's franchise record for goals by a defensemen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs until a reporter told him.

"Oh, really?" Beauchemin said with a laugh.

He added, "No, I don't think I'll do it [rib Niedermayer]. He can tease me for a lot more things than I did."

Joking aside, Beauchemin's value was on display in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Detroit Red Wings, who will try to even the best-of-7 series Thursday night at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Beauchemin played an excellent Game 1. Paired with Cam Fowler and matched up against Pavel Datsyuk's line, Beauchemin had a game-high 25:38 minutes of ice time, including 3:24 shorthanded and 4:29 on the power play. He had three hits and three blocked shots.

Beauchemin wasn't one of the three stars of the game. But he induced the first big cheers when he broke up a play in his own corner.

"He's been like that all year," Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's just the way he plays. He plays between 23-25 minutes, every team's best player, best line, and he usually comes through."

Captain Ryan Getzlaf said, "He's a pretty well-rounded guy. His biggest task is playing against [Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg]. Him and Cam did a great of that last night, and we look for more of that."

Beauchemin's plus-19 rating in the regular season toed for the lead among NHL defensemen but he probably won't garner much attention for the Norris Trophy because he doesn't have career-high offensive numbers in a short season. He combined with former partner Sheldon Souray to score 13 of the 17 goals scored by Anaheim defensemen this season.

Boudreau broke up the pairing toward the end of the regular season without explanation, but he liked what he saw in Game 1. Souray is with Ben Lovejoy.

"It worked out in Game 1," Boudreau said. "Time will tell whether it's something that will continue to work out. It worked out a lot of times the last two years when they played together almost exclusively. The big difference is Cam is on the left side instead of the right side, which I think is a great advantage for him."

Beauchemin is among those Ducks players getting a shot at the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2011, when they lost to the Nashville Predators in the first round. Fourteen of his 62 career games in the postseason are against Detroit. Getting thrown into against Datsyuk and Zetterberg is nothing new.

"Playing Detroit, it's never easy," Beauchemin said. "There's no easy game against them because they have so much skill, especially up front. They have big, physical defensemen and a good goalie. That's always a challenge to play against them, but it feels good to beat them, for sure."

As for breaking Niedermayer's record, Beauchemin's ninth career playoff goal came on a 150-foot empty-netter to seal the 3-1 win.

"I only had just a quick second," Beauchemin said. "I didn't really think about it. I just got it on my stick and shot right it back down. I saw it [going toward] the middle of the net right away. I was hoping it wouldn't spin out."

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