Ducks know the benefits of taking a 2-0 series lead in playoffs

Corey Perry says taking a 2-0 playoff series lead over Calgary Flames will be 'a huge advantage for us'

Greetings from Honda Center, where the Ducks and the Calgary Flames will resume their Western conference semifinal playoff series Sunday night after a two-day break.

The Ducks won the opener, 6-1, on Thursday, so much of the talk Sunday after the morning skate centered on the difference between the Ducks taking a 2-0 lead to Calgary for Games 3 and 4 or going there with the series even at 1-1. Games 3 and 4 are to be played on Tuesday and Friday, respectively.

“We’re at home, we want to get the two games. If we can go in 2-0, that’s a huge advantage for us,” said Ducks right wing Corey Perry, the NHL postseason scoring leader, with 11 points.

“It’s something that we’re looking to do. We don’t want to go in 1-1 and having to win there. To come in tonight and play the way we did last game is huge for us.”

The Ducks won the first two games of their first-round series against Winnipeg and went on to sweep the Jets. But they faced a noisy, hostile crowd in both games, an experience that’s sure to be duplicated at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

“They’re loud fans. The people in Calgary, they’re going to be into it.,” Perry said. “We saw last series with Winnipeg how crazy their fans were, and I think Calgary is going to be the exact same way.”

But the Ducks were able to draw energy from that -- especially Perry and Ryan Kesler, who were targeted for most of the jeers and derisive chants.

“Yeah,” Perry conceded. “It can go either way but hopefully we can use it to our advantage.”

Defenseman Cam Fowler also said the difference between taking a 2-0 series lead and going to Calgary with the series tied would be considerable.

“It would be a big difference for sure. We were able to put some distance between us when we went to Winnipeg, and obviously it did us good as a team,” he said.

“It’s able to kind of take a little pressure off you because you’re able to protect your home building and you’re able to keep that important part of the series going. It would be a big difference. Looking ahead to tonight, they would get a lot of momentum if they were able to come in and steal one tonight. Going back to Calgary would be a lot different than going back 2-0. That’s why tonight is a really big challenge and a big test for us.”

The Ducks were not expected to make any changes from the lineup they used in Game 1. Goaltender John Gibson remained unavailable because of the flu, Coach Bruce Boudreau said, adding that Gibson was told to stay home in order to avoid potentially spreading the bug. Jason LaBarbera will back up starter Frederik Andersen.

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