Ducks stay patient, look for chances to beat Quick in high-stakes Game 3 against Kings

Although the Anaheim Ducks are running short on chances to prove they’re more than just a regular-season power, they didn’t seem daunted before they headed out on a 30-mile road trip that could define their year. After the best regular season in franchise history, the Ducks have lost four of their past six playoff games heading into a critical Game 3 at Los Angeles on Thursday night.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Although the Anaheim Ducks are running short on chances to prove they’re more than just a regular-season power, they didn’t seem daunted before they headed out on a 30-mile road trip that could define their year.

After the best regular season in franchise history, the Ducks have lost four of their past six playoff games heading into a critical Game 3 at Los Angeles on Thursday night.

It’s barely a slump, and it includes a near-victory that got away with 7 seconds left in regulation in the second-round opener.

Yet the Ducks realize what hangs on their latest trip to Staples Center, and they’re comfortable with the risk.

“The belief and the confidence in this group is pretty high,” Anaheim defenceman Cam Fowler said. “We know that a lot of people are counting us out right now, but that only fuels us.”

During their best stretches of that remarkable regular season, the Ducks were a dominant offensive team, finishing second in the NHL with 266 goals.

With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry leading the way, Anaheim got consistent scoring from all four lines and methodically broke down almost any defensive team — including the Kings, who beat the Ducks just once in five tries during the regular season.

In the playoffs, Anaheim has managed just three goals against Jonathan Quick in two home losses. The Kings’ puck-possession style and mistake-free play in their own end are remarkable at times, and even the Ducks appreciated it while spending the past two days figuring out ways to counter it.

“They certainly know how to win,” Fowler said. “Their style translates well to playoff hockey. Very structured, no mistakes, and make the other team beat you.

“They’ve done it before, and when Quick starts playing like he is now, that’s when they become a hard team to beat. They’re certainly peaking at the right time, and we know what we’re up against, but we have a belief in our group that we can do it.”

The Ducks have made some unique travel arrangements for the nominal road portion of this series.

After Wednesday’s practice, they took a bus to a hotel across the street from Staples Center. They’re staying downtown until Game 4 on Saturday, but they’ll also take the bus back to Anaheim for practice on Friday.

With just three goals in more than six playoff periods against the Kings, Anaheim might attempt to boost its offence by putting Kyle Palmieri back into the lineup.

The goal-scoring wing, a healthy scratch in the Ducks’ past four games, skated alongside Nick Bonino and Devante Smith-Pelly at practice Wednesday.

Palmieri scored a career-best 14 goals in the regular season, and he had five points in last season’s first-round series loss to Detroit.

Just Posted

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month