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Ducks counting on attention to detail against Red Wings

Ducks counting on attention to detail against Red Wings
Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey gives chase against Penguins left wing Blake Comeau during the season-opening game Thursday in Pittsburgh. (Keith Srakocic / Associated Press)

The Ducks have looked at the video, analyzed their effort and made some lineup tweaks. Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena they'll discover if that's good enough to beat the Detroit Red Wings.

"We were not quite ready to play," said Ducks forward Matt Beleskey, who's been shifted from the fourth line to play alongside center Ryan Kesler and forward Devante Smith-Pelly on Saturday, of Thursday's 6-4, season-opening loss in Pittsburgh.

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"It's all about our preparation, competing in the game. There were plays where guys were out of position, small breakdowns, and against Sidney Crosby, you can't have small breakdowns. We'll tighten it up tonight, and away we go."

Beleskey said "we're all used to line changes" under Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau.

Rookie center William Karlsson, 21, is expected to make his NHL debut alongside Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg, and fourth-line center Nate Thompson will be with Emerson Etem and Tim Jackman.

Boudreau said Karlsson is "confident. All young kids have swagger now … 'I've been a star since a young age, and I'm going to do it again.' He carries himself very well that way … I hope it doesn't catch him by surprise."

With goalie Frederik Andersen starting on Saturday after John Gibson was barraged by 39 shots Thursday, second-year defenseman Hampus Lindholm said after Saturday's morning skate that, "If everyone sticks to what they're supposed to do, it will be a real fun game."

BABCOCK AGAIN: Detroit Coach Mike Babcock, who coached the Ducks for two seasons and led them to their first Stanley Cup Final in 2003, had a unique opinion on the importance of confidence in the NHL – something the Ducks look to re-collect tonight.

"Confidence is fleeting in the NHL, it comes and goes fast," Babcock said. "I believe you lose Game One, you're one down. You lose Game Two, you're two down and pretty soon you tighten up.

"You don't score any goals, you tighten up. The mentally harder you are, the better chance you have to fight through it. The mentally softer you are, the more chance you have for the lulls to continue longer.

"When I was a kid, my mom would put on the 'fridge, 'May your ups be longer than your downs.' That's the same in our business. When you've got it going, you better work hard to keep it going. When you don't have it going, you better work your butt off to get it going."

The Red Wings, with three-time Selke Trophy-winning center Pavel Datsyuk sidelined by injury, are looking to complement their opening victory over Boston by beating the Ducks with Justin Abdelkader, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen on the first line. Jimmy Howard, who faced just 17 shots Thursday, will be in goal.

"The Ducks are talented, competitive people," Babcock said. "I wished they had won … they blew us out here last year" -- 5-2 on Dec. 17.

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