The great unknown of the first
Is it the top-seeded Ducks' confidence about the matchup, not only because of home-ice advantage but also their 4-0-1 record against the Kings this season?
Or is it a tight defense or a high-flying offense that makes the difference? The Kings gave up the fewest goals (174) in the
Asked the key to the series, Ducks MVP finalist
In the Kings' stirring first-round rally from three games behind, Quick held the potent
"Quickie … his game's going up and that's exactly what we need from him because when he's hot and we're playing good defensive hockey, we're a hard team to score against," Kings defenseman
For Doughty, there's comfort in squaring off against familiar faces Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The three were teammates on gold-medal-winning Team Canada in February. Of course, there also is discomfort in trying stop the Ducks' top scorers — Getzlaf, 31 goals, 56 assists; Perry 43 goals, 39 assists.
"I know exactly how they play," Doughty said. "It just comes down to out-competing them and being a better player at every situation. It's going to be tough for me to do, but I've got to do it."
The Ducks have done it with resiliency all season, recording a team-record 28 comeback wins. In fact, that is how they advanced to this round, rallying from two goals down with 130 seconds remaining in Game 6 and then eliminating Dallas in overtime.
"The series comes at a good time for us," Ducks forward
"We know we frustrated them a bit, played hard and got to Quick. This has to be no different."
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau won't reveal which goalie will start until the team's Saturday morning skate. Veteran
Andersen, his team shut out only twice all season, rebutted the idea the series is all on the goalies' shoulders.
"I feel like we have the better team," he said. "We can score enough goals, and play well defensively against them."
The Kings' depth on defense will be tested because veteran
The Ducks' long rest has allowed Getzlaf (upper body), fellow center
Many are projecting an intense, extended series. Ducks veteran forward
"The rivalry has always been there, but we've always known it needs one playoff series," Selanne said. "Then, it'll be a lifetime thing."