With the Anaheim Ducks down 2-0 and losing home ice, they are seemingly out of this first-ever Freeway Face-off Series.
Or are they?
Although the first-seeded Ducks won the season series against the Los Angeles Kings, the Kings have a stranglehold on the Ducks, who can’t seem to find the back of the net against Olympic net minder Jonathan Quick. Nonetheless, a sense of optimism lingered in the Ducks locker room.
We’ve had ups and downs all season, but we’re a good team that can come back,” said winger Patrick Maroon. “We lose two and we bounce back. We can win three or four in a row. That’s what’s good about this team.
Keys to the Game:
1. Execute: The Ducks need to score more on Jonathan Quick, who made an impressive 36 saves on 37 shots in Game 2. In just their past two games, the Ducks have scored a meager three goals in their last two games.
2. Create traffic in front of Quick: Granted, the Ducks have out-shot the Kings 72-52, but Quick has allowed just three goals because he has seen most of the shots he has faced. The Ducks need to make life difficult for Quick and get bodies near the blue paint.
3. Contain Gaborik and Kopitar: Easier said than done, but both Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar have a combined eight points after just two games in the series. In addition, Kopitar has maintained his 10-game point streak starting prior to the end of the regular season.
1. Get off to a quick start: If the Kings can score a quick goal into the game they can discourage the Ducks like they did in Game 2.
2. Continue the physical play: If the Kings continue to frustrate Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf with their physical play, the Kings, with the help of Jonathan Quick, can keep the Ducks goal total very low.
Players to Watch:
1. Corey Perry: The Ducks leader in goals in the regular season, Perry needs to put the puck past Quick if the Ducks are to win Game 3.
2. Ryan Getzlaf: As the Ducks points leader and Hart Trophy Award finalist, Getzlaf must continue to play the style of hockey he is accustomed to, which is being physical and setting up his teammates for goals.
1. Anze Kopitar: Riding a 10-game point streak, Kopitar is red-hot and the league leader in points and assists in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Ducks need to shut him down.
2. Marian Gaborik: The leader in goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the moment, Gaborik’s late-game heroics in Game 1 showed the Ducks that they must put more pressure on him.
Frederik Andersen: 3-2, 3.40 GA, .892 SV%
Jonathan Quick: 6-3, 2.68 GA, .924 SV%
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