Freeway Faceoff: Ducks' starting goalie a mystery for Game 1
MAY 03, 2014 3:30p ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When the Ducks take the Honda Center ice Saturday night, all eyes will be watching the home side goal. In a somewhat odd move, head coach Bruce Boudreau has declined to name a starting goaltender for Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Kings.
"You'll have to wait around and find out," Boudreau told the media following the optional morning skate. "I don't know why it's such a big deal, one of the two will be playing. We'll have six guys on the ice most of the night."
Rookie goalie Frederik Andersen started every game of their first-round series against Dallas and Jonas Hiller, the Ducks' longtime starting netminder, came on in relief twice. Hiller saw no shots in Game 4 and in the decisive Game 6, he earned the win in relief, stopping all 12 shots he faced.
Andersen, the youngest goaltender to ever start a postseason game for the Ducks, currently owns an .892 save percentage and 3.40 goals against average mark in the playoffs.
"If it makes L.A. work a little harder to figure out on their scouting report who theyâre going to go against, even if it's five minutes extra thatâs five minutes they worked a little harder," Boudreau said.
But the Kings feel that it doesn't make that much of a difference because they've seen both goaltenders already this season.
Andersen started three against against the Ducks this season and won all three decisions. Hiller started two, winning the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium and losing in a shootout in the first meeting between the two at the Honda Center.
"I think we're well-prepared for both goalies," said Kings' head coach Darryl Sutter. "We know both of them well with the five games this year. Obviously, we're really familiar with Hiller, everybody has been over the years, not just this group. You've got hundreds of hours of video. He can be as well-prepared as we can."
"It's not like an unknown entity, we've played against both goalies this year," said Kings' captain Dustin Brown. "If it's five extra minutes of preparation then it's not a big deal."
Other morning skate notes
- The Kings did not skate Saturday morning but lineups are not expected to undergo any drastic facelifts. However, Sutter informed the media that defenseman Willie Mitchell is not with the team in Anaheim. He stayed behind to train at the team's facility in El Segundo. Matt Greene will again play in the place of Mitchell.
"I don't think we're going to question the effort with Greener, his effort is going to be there all the time," Sutter said. "He's got to probably do for us, in this series, what I think Bryan Allen does for the Ducks."
Greene did not play in most of the first round series against San Jose.
- After seeing a team five times already this season, thereâs not much guesswork left in the postseason. They know one another so well that it brings a different mental aspect to this series than the last for the Ducks, who faced a team outside of the Pacific Division.
"It's a different kind of preparation," said Ducks' defenseman Ben Lovejoy. "We didn't watch a ton of video. We know what they're doing, they know what weâre doing. There's mental preparation that goes into playing a physical smart team like this. We're not going to be able to run and gun against a team like this, we need to have our brains on."
- The Kings made history by coming back from an 0-3 deficit in the last series. Itâs something they would like to avoid doing again.
"That would be lovely, yes," center Anze Kopitar said.
But if they were to pull off another historic feat, they wouldn't really mind.
"But if we do that four series in a row, I'd take that too," he said. "I'd play that many games, I don't care."