Ducks 'desperate' to assert control over Blackhawks

Ducks and Blackhawks both feel sense of desperation heading into Game 2 of Western Conference finals

For the Ducks, winning Game 1 of the Western Conference finals was a good first step. Game 2 is about keeping home-ice advantage and control of the series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“We know they’ll come out harder, but we know we have a couple more levels to raise our game, too,” Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. “Of course you want to keep home-ice advantage to make them feel they’ll have trouble coming into our building.”

Following Anaheim’s 4-1 win Sunday, in which the Ducks’ third line of Andrew Cogliano, Nate Thompson and Kyle Palmieri combined for two goals and two assists, Chicago lamented not surrounding the net more.

In Game 1, first-line center Jonathan Toews and leading scorer Patrick Kane were both point-less for the Blackhawks with minus-two ratings.

Following the game, Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville said, “I still think that we're more successful when [Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen] has a hard time trying to see through screens and second layers.

“We didn't get some shots, through. I think quicker shot selections, more bodies at the net, is your best opportunity to get one and go from there.”

Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said his team expects that to be Chicago’s major Game 2 adjustment.

“They talk about going more to the net,” Beauchemin said. “We’ll have to make sure we’re strong in the defensive zone, make sure Freddie can see the first shots and clear the rebounds if we need to.”

By stopping 32 of 33 shots — he was beaten only when a Beauchemin turnover left him alone versus Brad Richards — Andersen has grabbed headlines nationally as a surprising difference maker.

The Ducks have outscored their three playoff foes by a combined 20 goals thus far.

“Most of you guys don’t see him a lot, but he was one of the fastest to 50 wins, he’s undefeated in regulation in the playoffs,” Beauchemin told reporters. “He’s proved he can be a No. 1 goalie for a long time. We knew he could do the job for us.”

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said after Tuesday’s morning skate at Honda Center that he’ll keep his lines and pairs intact, while Chicago is expected to bench defenseman David Rundblad after he was on the ice for two goals, with Kyle Cumiskey starting.

The Ducks say it doesn’t matter who’s on defense as long as they execute their physical style that exhausts the opposition.

“I don’t know what adjustments [the Blackhawks will] make. They’re not going to make drastic changes, because what they do works,” Boudreau said. “Hopefully, we’ll get better at the things we do well.

“Our DNA’s not changing.”

One of those hopeful improvements is expecting Ryan Getzlaf’s first line to contribute more than the one secondary assist Getzlaf had on an empty-net goal.

“They’re desperate,” Beauchemin said. “We’re desperate as well.”

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