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Ducks admire Vegas’ sweep of the Kings, hope to avoid same result against the Sharks

The Ducks, who will try Wednesday night to avoid following the Kings’ path of being swept out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, kept an eye on the Kings’ series against the first-year Vegas Golden Knights. Ducks players said they were impressed by Vegas’ performance, which continued the team’s astounding success in its inaugural season.

By this point, however, after they finished first in the Pacific Division, can the Golden Knights’ playoff victory be considered so astonishing? “Not now. The year they’ve had, nobody is too surprised now,” Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour said. “They’ve had success. Good for them. That series is a little different. You never know who was going to move on there.

“They took it to [the Kings]. It was good defensive series. There wasn’t too many goals in that.”

It was a resounding response to those who doubted that the Golden Knights would be able to handle playoff pressure and might fall apart against the Kings. “They haven’t,” Montour said. “They’re doing a good job. Good for them.”

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Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg said he knew the Golden Knights were a good team, but in watching them in the playoffs he saw just how good they have become. “I think the times I’ve played Vegas they seemed like a very tricky team to play. Any time someone gets swept in playoffs, I think every team is good in this league, so I think a sweep is a bit surprising,” he said.

“At the same time I know how good of a team Vegas is, but so is L.A. I watched most of their games, and they were all tight games that came down to the third period, all tight games. I don’t know that 4-0 reflected how the games were played, but at the end of the day, that’s the score.”

The Ducks, who are down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks and have been outscored 14-3, will try to avoid being swept Wednesday night at SAP Center. A fifth game, if necessary, will be played Friday at Honda Center.

“It’s one game at a time. That’s the kind of mind-set you’ve got to have,” said Silfverberg, whose goal in Game 2 is the only even-strength goal the Ducks have produced among their three tallies in this series. “It’s an elimination game but at the same time you can’t get scared. You’ve got to embrace it and we’ve got to take it the right way and see it as a big challenge. We’ve got to make sure we play our best game of the series tonight and we’ll see where it takes us.”

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