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Analysis

Takeaways from Ducks' 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes

The Ducks are looking for more after finishing first in the Western Conference

There was a distinct sentiment of "Let’s get on with this," following the Ducks2-1 victory in Arizona on Saturday night, a win that earned them the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

The 82-game regular season -- a formality, given the teamwide desire to make a deeper playoff push this time -- is over, and the postseason is here again.

Carry around a bitter taste in your mouth and pretty soon you want to spit.

That’s what these playoffs are to the Ducks, a chance to wash away the Game 7 home rout to the Kings in last year’s Western Conference semifinals, as well as the first-round upset at Detroit’s hands a season before that.

Takeaway No. 1: The attitude is rooted in excitement.

Despite Coach Bruce Boudreau’s fretting over how well Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec is playing, or how durable the first-round opponent Jets seem to be after enduring the Central Division to gain their first playoff berth since 1996, the Ducks are eager to get it on.

“That’s a big boy’s game, that’s for sure,” center Ryan Getzlaf said. “We’re definitely built similar, heavy teams. It didn’t matter who it was, it was going to be a good team. ...  We’ve waited a long time for this. It’s going to be fun.”

Takeaway No. 2: Frederik Andersen should be the Ducks’ goalie.

Not only has Andersen nearly tripled the number of victories compared with fellow Anaheim goalie John Gibson, he is healthy.

During practice on Friday, Gibson sustained a minor upper-body injury that Boudreau failed to specify. Though the injury is not considered serious, why press the 21-year-old into net in Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. playoff opener at Honda Center?

It always made sense to give Andersen the first crack at playoff goaltending duties, and use Gibson as needed. If Boudreau went to Gibson first, how scorned would Andersen be after carrying most of the load this season?

And how much would that affect his play if he was reinserted?

Now that’s not a worry.

Takeaway No. 3: Pavelec will have four lines to deal with.

Fourth-line center Nate Thompson leads a likely bruising line with Tim Jackman and Patrick Maroon to battle with the Jets, and elsewhere there’s talent that can overwhelm.

After scoring his 13th goal Saturday, forward Jakob Silfverberg said the team’s commitment to defense creates scoring chances.

“We’ll be ready for the playoffs,” Silfverberg said. “Every guy in the room is excited. Good for your confidence. I had my legs. It’s going to be a battle on the boards. That’s one of our strengths.”

Takeaway No. 4: Can they stay focused?

At times Saturday, the Ducks were playing a boring game, keeping the puck on the Arizona end, clearing shooting paths for Andersen to clearly see shots, and staying back on defense.

The time for gambling for a goal is over now. Such risk can only create a tension-loaded deficit in games packed with urgency and pressure.

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