April 9, 2014 |
The Ducks believe their second consecutive Pacific Division title is different from last year's, which was soured by a first-round playoff exit. That difference is added grit. Fittingly, on the night Anaheim clinched the division title Wednesday with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at a sold-out Honda Center, the game's star embodies the trait. BOX SCORE: Ducks 5, Sharks 2 Rugged forward Patrick Maroon scored two second-period goals to propel Anaheim, and rookie goalie John Gibson made 36 saves to follow a shutout win in his debut with a division clincher two days later.
April 8, 2014 |
The way the Ducks tell it, their interest in beating the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday is rooted mostly in the perks of what accompanies winning the Pacific Division and not about avoiding a first-round playoff series against the Kings. “No one's ever mentioned that about the Kings,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The guys have fought long and hard to get to first place. … It's about the satisfaction of playing for six months and being the best.” By beating the Sharks in any fashion at Honda Center, the Ducks would clinch their second consecutive Pacific Division title and at least the No. 2 Western Conference playoff seeding.
April 7, 2014 |
VANCOUVER, Canada - It was a bold stroke by Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau, putting 20-year-old John Gibson in goal for his NHL debut Monday night with a division title in the balance. Sixty complete minutes of hockey later by Gibson and his teammates, Boudreau's move looked like his most brilliant of the season as the Ducks defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 3-0, at Rogers Arena. Gibson, with 18 saves, became the youngest goalie since Daren Puppa 29 years ago to post a shutout in his NHL debut, as a Ducks' defense Boudreau referred to as "spotty" during Monday's morning skate rose up to protect the youngster with 22 blocked shots.
April 5, 2014 |
Whether it's the opponent's top scorer or the Ducks' mood, defenseman Ben Lovejoy has proven in his breakout season he has a firm handle on it. A confluence of greater maturity and an appreciation of the disparity between Lovejoy's prior NHL job and the confidence boost from Ducks' leadership has created a productive and unselfish shutdown defenseman. "He can skate, defend, plays hard all the time," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When we play a team with a No. 1 line that's very fast, he's always against that team - might be the only one who can catch 'em. "He's brought a lot of stability to our defense.
April 4, 2014 |
Almost as impressively as the Nashville Predators hovered around the net Friday, the Ducks circled around their beaten veteran goaltender Jonas Hiller after a 5-2 trouncing at Honda Center. Hiller, returning from a three-game hiatus that Coach Bruce Boudreau said he hoped would enhance the goalie's sharpness for the approaching Stanley Cup playoffs, gave up four first-period goals on nine shots. After a 14-game win streak from Dec. 6 to Jan. 12, Hiller is 6-8-3 since. SUMMARY: Nashville Predators 5, Ducks 2 He was replaced with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left in the period by the emerging rookie Frederik Andersen, who's gaining serious traction for playoff use with a 19-5 showing this season that included three consecutive wins in Hiller's absence.
April 3, 2014 |
Whether Frederik Andersen will start a fourth consecutive game as the Ducks' goalie Friday versus the Nashville Predators is something Coach Bruce Boudreau kept to himself Thursday. But when asked whether Andersen belongs in the conversation about NHL rookie of the year, Boudreau was far more forthcoming. "I would love just to hear his name mentioned," Boudreau said of the 6-foot-4, 230-pound backup, who won all three of those starts for the Pacific-Division leaders while Jonas Hiller rested.