It's there to see in the players' hardened gazes, obvious to be heard in the coach's short retorts.
Fortified from painful recent playoff history and motivated to write a satisfying ending this time, the
When the puck drops at noon Sunday for Game 1 at
Most important to the home team that scored only one goal in each of its three regular-season meetings against the Blackhawks is the pursuit of continuing the postseason habit of imposing its will.
"They're a little faster team, little more skilled, so it's going to be an Olympic challenge," Ducks goalie
"We've played two teams and succeeded playing them our way. We're going to have to do that again."
Chicago shrugged off Nashville's home-ice advantage to defeat the
The Blackhawks lost defenseman
Defenseman Duncan Keith and his forward teammate Patrick Kane lead the league with a plus-10 postseason rating.
Kane has seven goals and 13 assists after returning for the playoffs from a shoulder injury, and Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville has separated him from usual linemate, center
"They're two dynamic players, no matter who they're playing with," Ducks defenseman
Anaheim and Chicago have combined for nine conference-final appearances since 2003, but have never met in the postseason.
"You have to watch what [the Blackhawks] do, their style," Fowler said. "Chicago brings about a lot of challenges that the last couple of [playoff opponents] didn't. But you can only watch so much video. You have to … focus on yourself."
That point has obviously been hammered home by Ducks Coach
After hanging their 2012-13 and 2013-14
"We're here to win," Getzlaf said.
They've played like it by winning their first six playoff games, then eliminating Calgary in overtime Sunday.
"We've had our buildup, again," Getzlaf said of the Ducks' third consecutive extended layoff. "We've had to approach it almost like a football team where you have Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. You work on different things every day in preparation for a team. … We're prepared again. That's the big thing. Everyone knows their role. Everyone knows what they're doing going into this series, and now we're just going to play."
Anaheim's power play is executing at a league-best 31%; the second line of
Perry missed two practice days this week after being out briefly Sunday because of a second-period knee injury, but said he feels "great" now.
"I've got no excuses," Perry said. "Everybody is ready for this to get going. It's going to be exciting. There's a lot of firepower on both sides."
The series will pivot, several Ducks said, based on who wins the puck possession battle and who outthinks the other.
"You need to be sharp over 60 minutes," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "Play your game, focus, be prepared for different stuff, adapt to it. We need to step it up every round. When we play good against a speed team like this, we slow them down by getting the pucks down low and forcing them there with good gaps."
Boudreau added he expects a different Ducks line or player to take on a more prominent role in this series, but remained mum as to whom he's referring.
He told third-line center
"When we play the right ways and do the right things, we're confident we can beat any team we play," Boudreau said.
"Our will is strong. There's no doubt. That's what's going to make this a great series."