Ducks in a familiar, if uncomfortable, playoff position vs. Oilers – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM —  It’s not like the Ducks haven’t been here before, stuck in this exact position. This is the third time in five seasons they’ve lost the first two games of a playoff series at Honda Center. Twice before they won the next three games to take a 3-2 lead in a best-of-7 series.

Neither time ended well for them, though. The Ducks squandered a 3-2 lead to the Kings in the second round of the playoffs in 2014 en route to a 4-3 series defeat, and they did the same thing last season against the Nashville Predators in the opening round.

Now, the Ducks face a 2-0 deficit to the Oilers in the second round, heading to Edmonton with reasons for cautious optimism. The Ducks expect more from themselves in Game 3 on Sunday in what’s sure to be a raucous Rogers Place.

The Ducks have done plenty of good things in the first two games of the series, but just not enough of them to win. They said Saturday they cannot get frustrated or abandon their usual method of operation and hope to win Game 3.

Puck luck is a funny thing. The Ducks had it as all the bounces seemed to go their way during their first-round sweep of the Calgary Flames. The Oilers appear to have received the benefit of it during the first two games, winning 5-3 on Wednesday and 2-1 on Friday.

“if we just keep getting pucks and bodies around the net, we’ll get our bounces,” the Ducks’ Patrick Eaves said Saturday, before the team departed for Edmonton. “We’ve hit a bunch of posts here. It seems like we’ve hit the inside of the post a couple of times, too.

“(The Oilers) are playing well defensively, their goalie is playing well and we just have to find a way through that. We’re doing a lot of good things. I think we’re playing better this series than we did against Calgary. We need to keep getting better on a nightly basis.

“We are doing some good things … we just need to keep sticking with it.”


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