The Anaheim Ducks closed their regular season with a flourish, winning 15 of their final 20 contests, including a 9-3 mark at Honda Center, to secure home ice advantage in the first round of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. So it would be hard to blame them for feeling deflated after giving that away on Wednesday night in their 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators in Game 1. However, there is no time for the Ducks to feel sorry for themselves after losing the first game. They need a win Friday night in Game 2 just to stay in the series, lest they head back to Nashville in a 2-0 hole.
The Ducks started Dan Ellis in Game 1, but they might be leaning toward Ray Emery in Game 2. Emery, who has been battling a lower body injury, saved six shots in relief of Ellis late in the first contest. "Emery is more of a bigger bodied blocking type of goaltender, where Dan Ellis is more of a smaller guy, compact and more active in the net," head coach Randy Carlyle said on Thursday. "Both goaltenders have success in the NHL with their styles and they both compete to stop the puck."
After Game 1, Daniel at Anaheim Calling agreed that a change in net might be a good thing:
I don't think this is a knock on Ellis, but Emery strikes me as more of a battler. As a traditional butterfly goalie, Emery has a calming effect. He'll always be squaring himself to the shooter, and he's going to use his frame to take up a lot of the net. Right now, the Ducks need a goalie who can steady the play in the defensive zone by absorbing shots and negating second chances. They need a goalie who doesn't need to scramble to be effective. Yeah, it looks sexy when you come up with the save, but it's 12 kinds of stressful while you're waiting for the whistle.
Marc Torrence of the Predators blog On The Forecheck thinks the Ducks will come out ready to play in Game 2:
[Corey] Perry and the rest of the Ducks' high-flying offense will come out swingin'. If the Predators' defense can hold, Nashville should get some chances to capitalize in transition just like in Game 1.
Tonight's 7:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised by KDOC.
For more news and information about the Ducks, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.