Ducks vs. Blackhawks: Three keys to Game 1

The matchup between Ryan Kesler and Jonathan Toews will be key in Game 1 between Ducks and Blackhawks

Three keys to Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday:

1. RYAN KESLER VS. JONATHAN TOEWS

The Ducks brought Kesler here this season to win this type of playoff battle. He renews postseason acquaintances with the captain he knows well from his Vancouver days. Kesler's ability to stymie the top Toews line will enhance other Anaheim matchups.

2. THROW THE WEIGHT AROUND

Anaheim has 12 players who are 210 pounds or more while Chicago has just two. Keeping the puck and controlling it down by the Blackhawks' goal can limit Chicago's speed advantage and fatigue the foe.

3. NET GAINS

Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen has been more consistent than Chicago's Corey Crawford, winning eight of nine starts and repeatedly keeping his team within a goal. This stage is Andersen's best forum to establish himself as an elite goalie.

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