March 22, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman (32) helps goalie Jonas Hiller (1) defend against Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader (8) during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Western Conference Playoff Preview- #2 Anaheim Ducks vs #7 Detroit Red Wings

#2 Anaheim Ducks (30-12-6 66 points) vs #7 Detroit Red Wings (24-16-8 56 points)

Season Series- Detroit won the Season series 2-1

Series Schedule

Game 1- Detroit at Anaheim at Honda Center, Tuesday April 30th 9:30pm NBCSN

Game 2-Detroit at Anaheim at Honda Center, Thursday May 2nd 9pm NBCSN

Game 3- Anaheim at Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, Saturday May 4th 6:30 pm NBCSN

Game 4- Anaheim at Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, Monday May 6th 7pm CNBC

Game 5- Detroit at Anaheim at Honda Center Wednesday May 8th 9pm (if necessary)

Game 6- Anaheim at Detroit at Joe Louis Arena Saturday May 11th TBD (if necessary)

Game 7- Detroit at Anaheim at Honda Center Monday May 13th TBD  (if necessary)

Anaheim

The Ducks are by far the team that gave the Hawks the most trouble in this shortened season.  The Ducks are a big physical team that is very balanced. Corey Perry is their best player but he has a lot of friends including Ryan Getzlaf. The Blackhawks hot start gave the Ducks the ability to fly under the radar while playing great hockey. Besides playing good all season long another similarity that the Ducks have to the Blackhawks is they have a goalie controversy with both goalies having good seasons. Both Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth have 15 wins so it will be a tough call for Coach Boudreau to decide between the experience in  Hiller or first year goalie Fasth.  The tipping point in the series towards the Ducks could be their 4th ranked powerplay which could be the difference in what should be a tight series.

Leading Scorer-Ryan Getzlaf- 15 goals 34 assists 49 points

Backstop- Viktor Fasth 15-6-2 2.18 Goals Against Average .921 Save Percentage

X Factor- Teemu Selanne- Will the veteran turn up the scoring on what could be his last run at a Stanley Cup

Ex Blackhawk Factor-Jordan Henry

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings have been in playoff mode for the past week having to win their last four games to make the playoffs and the 7th seed. The Red Wings are not an offensive juggernaut and routinely struggle to score goals.  Damien Brunner started the season strong but slowed as the season continued along.  The Red Wings making their 22nd consecutive playoff appearance will need Jimmy Howard to play at his best for the Wings win the series.

Peter Fish our friend from Octopus Thrower gave his us his three keys for the Wings to win the series.

Key 1 – Scoring goals. Whether it is Jonas Hiller or Victor Fasth in net the Wings need to find a way to beat them. Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk will be tasked to put the puck in the net early and often.

Key 2 – Don’t let them score goals. Since the addition of Danny DeKeyser and return of Kyle Quincey the defense is humming along, but they still tend to give up at least beautiful scoring chance per game. Once the Wings can cut out the big give-aways watch out. By the way Jimmy Howard is really good; be afraid, be very afraid.
Key 3 – The 3rd and 4th lines. The Red Wings bottom six is going to be a game changer in the series because they are on fire right now. Not only are they providing energy for the team, but they are producing points as well. If the Wings want to go deep in these playoffs the bottom six will have to keep contributing on offense.
Leading Scorer- Pavel Datsyuk- 15 goals 34 assists-49 points
Backstop- Jimmy Howard-21-13-7 2.21 Goals Against Average .923 Save Percentage
X-Factor- Justin Abdelkader- He’s one of the few consistent scores on the team not named Datsyuk or Zetterberg and the Red Wings will need prodcution from someone else against a balanced team like the Ducks
Ex-Blackhawks Factor-Daniel Cleary
Prediction Sure To Go Wrong- The Red Wings having played playoff hockey for one more week than the Ducks and they will not match the intensity in Game One and the Red Wings will steal that game and end up winning the series in 6 games.
What is your prediction for the Ducks/Red Wings series?

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Tags: 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Preview

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