Ducks' first line looks to be more productive in Game 2

Ducks' top line enjoyed Game 1 victory, but hopes to be much more effective in Game 2 on Tuesday

Patrick Maroon has played long enough with first-line mates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to project what kind of performance is coming in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday.

"They'll be mad … expect their best, the A-game," Maroon said Monday after the Ducks practiced at Honda Center. "You always want to contribute in some way, get that confidence back."

Although the Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, in Game 1 — thanks to two goals and two assists from the third line centered by Nate Thompson — Getzlaf's first line was muted, by its standards.

Getzlaf notched its only point, upping his NHL playoff lead in assists (11) with a secondary pass on Jakob Silfverberg's empty-net goal with 78 seconds left.

Perry — the playoff points leader who had four points in each of the Game 1 playoff victories over Winnipeg and Calgary — had only two shots on goal while four others were blocked or missed.

The Ducks don't want ineffective first-line play to become a trend.

"We won a game, and we'll take the positives from that, but there were a lot of areas we could clean up," Getzlaf said, referring to events such as his first-period turnover that forced Frederik Andersen to make a spectacular stick save on a point-blank shot by Patrick Kane.

The Blackhawks mostly employed defensemen Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson against the Getzlaf line, but the center said difficulties were usually self-induced.

"We didn't handle the puck that well," Getzlaf said. "As a line, that's up to us. I turned over the puck a couple times — uncharacteristic.

"Things have been addressed, we'll keep moving. We're playing a good hockey team we're expecting a good response from and we'll impose our own response from the lack of things we did in Game 1."

Asked whether he is troubled by any matchup with Chicago personnel, Perry said, "No. It's nothing."

Hjalmarsson, who had two take-aways and a blocked shot Sunday, said denying passing lanes around the net for the creative Getzlaf is critical to slowing the line.

"You have to limit their zone time, kill plays as soon as possible," Hjalmarsson said. "You have to keep doing it, make them dump pucks and make indirect passes instead of an easy entry through the neutral zone."

Hjalmarsson, paired at Monday's practice with Duncan Keith, said he's inclined to remain assigned to Getzlaf's line.

"I like the tougher challenge. Getzlaf-Perry is one of the top three lines in the league," Hjalmarsson said. "One of the funnest things I know is to compete at that level."

Perry said he wasn't hindered by a right leg injury that briefly sidelined him in the clinching game against Calgary on May 10 and kept him from two practices last week.

He had 15 minutes 17 seconds of ice time — less than second-line forwards Silfverberg and Matt Beleskey, and third-line forward Andrew Cogliano — and took solace in the Ducks' depth becoming the difference.

"Speaks volumes that we have four lines that can play at any time in this series," Perry said. "We're going to need that to win."

The Ducks also understand the need to maintain home-ice advantage.

"We can't stay back. We have to remain physical," fourth-line forward Jiri Sekac said on Game 2.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters he expects to keep Sekac, center Rickard Rakell and Emerson Etem together as his team — 9-1 in the playoffs — looks to improve to 7-0 at Honda Center.

He also made it clear the game plan starts with the first line.

"When those three are on their game, they're pretty hard to stop," he said. "Their expectations for themselves are very high and they didn't exceed their expectations last game."

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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