The Los Angeles Kings lead the Anaheim Ducks, 2-0, in their Western Conference semifinal series thanks in large part to the Kings’ ability to neutralize MVP candidate Ryan Getzlaf.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter made sure Getzlaf’s line faced one of the league’s best defensive forwards (Anze Kopitar) and the team’s best defenseman (Drew Doughty) for most of the game.
— ShiftChart (@ShiftChart) May 6, 2014
Getzlaf had an assist plus three shots on net but was stifled by the defensive duo for most of the night.
Ignoring special teams and lead-protecting situations, the Ducks’ captain was on the ice for just seven shots on goal — none of them his own.
“I’m ticked off right now,” Getzlaf said. “We’re in playoff time right now. There are no excuses for anything. We have to be better, I have to be better, and I expect our group to respond.”
“Well, [Doughty’s] one of the best in the world, if not the best defenseman in the world,” Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game. “We acknowledge that, and we’re trying to get him off his game. But he’s on the ice all the time, and he’s a difference maker.”
Doughty logged almost 26 minutes a night during the regular season and has increased that to more than 27 minutes in the playoffs, but Boudreau’s team was playing at home, meaning he had the benefit of last change and still couldn’t get his top player into some easier ice time.
“It doesn’t even feel like being on the road,” Sutter said. “We played really good in this building in the regular season. It was the same for us tonight.”
The Ducks now head to Staples Center, where Sutter will have an even easier time getting his desired matchups for most of the night.
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