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Ducks must navigate Winnipeg whiteout on Stanley Cup quest

Ducks must be prepared for Winnipeg's defense, which allowed only one goal over last four games

Call it the Teemu series.

The Ducks' plans to contend for the Stanley Cup begin with an assignment against the original team of their now-retired and best-known player, Teemu Selanne.

When Selanne came to Winnipeg during last year's swansong season, he and the Ducks were showered with the city's love and devotion to the sport.

This time — with Winnipeg set to host its first home playoff game since April 1996, Game 3 on Monday — the feelings toward the visitors will be far less hospitable.

Just for practice, Jets fans staged a whiteout, with all fans dressed in white, in their home finale.

Ducks' offense vs. Jets' defense

Scoring goals became a more laborious task for the Ducks a season after leading the NHL in the category. They ranked 11th with 2.78 goals per game. Winnipeg's defense also ranked 11th with a 2.49 goals-against average. The 6-feet-5, 260-pound Dustin Byfuglien and 6-8, 220 Tyler Myers are the Jets' formidable blue-liners, pacing a season-closing run of one goal allowed over the last four games.

Ducks' defense vs. Jets' offense

Ducks' trade-deadline acquisitions James Wisniewski and Simon Despres are part of a crew that's also counting on 21-year-old Hampus Lindholm to help clamp down Winnipeg's 16th-ranked offense. The Jets are paced by goals leader Blake Wheeler and points leader Andrew Ladd.

Goalies

A minor practice injury to John Gibson increases the likelihood that Frederik Andersen (35-12-5) will start Game 1. Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau expressed full confidence in Andersen as a playoff goalie; Andersen had a 3-2 showing last season before injuring his knee. Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec was dominant late in the Jets' push to the postseason.

Special teams

The Ducks are one for 23 on the power play since March 18 and rank 28th in the league despite the star presence of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler on the top unit. Winnipeg ranks 17th. On the penalty kill, both teams are average — the Jets are No. 13 and the Ducks are No. 15.

Home ice

A 26-12-3 showing at Honda Center included victory over Winnipeg on Selanne tribute night, , when the Ducks overcame a 4-2 third-period deficit with goals against Pavelec by Kyle Palmieri and Rickard Rakell. Sami Vatanen scored the shootout winner. The Ducks posted 24 comeback wins this season and swept the Jets in three meetings. However, Winnipeg's frenzy is said to create the best home advantage in the league.

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