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Ducks still in driver’s seat to win Pacific and avoid Kings in first round

Apr 7, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

BoudreauAnaheim AP

Even after consecutive losses to non-playoff teams Nashville and Edmonton, the Anaheim Ducks still have a good chance to win the Pacific Division. Tonight, they face another bottom-half-of-the-league side in Vancouver. Anaheim has won all four meetings with the Canucks this season.

And make no mistake, the Ducks should really want to win the Pacific Division. Do that and they’d avoid a tough first-round match-up with postseason-proven Los Angeles, leaving the Sharks and Kings, two strong Stanley Cup hopefuls, to battle each other for a spot in the second round. Currently, Anaheim is most likely to face Minnesota in the opening round.

The Ducks control their own destiny. Earn five points out of a possible eight in their final four games and they’ll clinch first, even if San Jose wins all three of its remaining games.

Rookie goalie John Gibson will make his NHL debut against the Canucks after Jonas Hiller struggled versus the Predators and Oilers, allowing seven goals on just 37 shots.

“It’s tough. I thought [Hiller] played well in the first period,” coach Bruce Boudreau said Sunday after the 4-2 defeat in Edmonton. “Then there were a couple in the second that he could have had. Then in the third, he regained his form again. It’s one of those things where he’s really lacking in confidence, and once the first one went in, he was a little worried until he regained his composure.”

While injured defenseman Cam Fowler won’t play tonight, he’s expected to return sometime this week.

  1. mrpinkca - Apr 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    #prayforEddie

  2. sjsblitz - Apr 7, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Id laugh if Anaheim gets swept by Minnesotaa

    • areaman714 - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      As hard as you laughed the most recent time the Ducks played The President’s Trophy winning Sharks?

      • sjsblitz - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        just saying, hoping to play a lower seed because you think you will have an easier time handling them can backfire

      • areaman714 - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        Oh. I hope the Ducks hang on. It will be a tall order for any of the three teams to win successive 7 game series against the other two. Just ribbing . . .

  3. jimeejohnson - Apr 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Quack-Quack!

    • blomfeld - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      YOU TELL ‘EM JAMES !!! :)

      Executive Summary: the Kings ‘dealing’ with the Ducks will be a turkey shoot !

      Battle of the Philippine Sea: The battle was nicknamed the Great Marianas ‘Turkey Shoot’ by American aviators for the severely disproportional loss ratio inflicted upon Japanese aircraft by American pilots and anti-aircraft gunners. During a debriefing after the first two air battles a pilot from USS Lexington remarked “Why, hell, it was just like an old-time turkey shoot down home!” The outcome was generally attributed to American improvements in pilot and crew training and tactics, war technology, and ship and aircraft design.

      DON’T EVER LET A DUCK SEE YOUR CAR BREAK DOWN OR TAKE FOOD FROM YOU !!!

  4. aldog83 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    I can see it now…..

    The season finale in LA with the Kings Fans chanting……

    We want the Ducks! We want the Ducks!

    It would be huge for Hockey in b So Cal and a hopefully a little revenge for getting beat at Dodger Stadium.

    More importantly with both teams having one Stanley Cup.

    A head to head series win would be ultimate bragging rights.

    P.S. Never underestimate a motivated Goaltender in playoffs. IF Ducks play Minnesota. …Bryzgalov would love to knock out the team he started with…th Ducks.

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