Ducks exit interviews: Ryan Kesler

Ducks center Ryan Kesler talked Saturday about the firing of Bruce Boudreau as coach and why it happened and what responsibility the players played in his dismissal after a first-round playoff exit. Here’s more from Kesler on Boudreau:

“He’s a good man. He was a good coach, obviously. I think losing that Game 7 was, you know, the nail in the coffin. It’s obviously tough to see your coach fired. I think the onus goes on us. Yeah. It’s still too early to look back for me, just the whole way this season’s gone. It was a tough year. It was a tough year for everyone I think. The way we started to the way we start the playoffs, it just for whatever reason it didn’t come together like we hoped.”

Kesler also spoke about being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy, as the NHL’s top defensive forward. Here’s more:

“It’s nice to get recognized. It’s a tribute to Bruce and him trusting me in those situations and throwing me out against the other team’s top line from Christmas on and giving me that challenge. He trusted me and I relished that. Obviously, it wasn’t just me out there, it was playing with ‘Silfver’ (Jakob Silfverberg) and ‘Cogs’ (Andrew Cogliano), those great linemates I had when you’ve got to shut down the other team’s top line. They were really defensively responsible. On the other side of the puck, they’re not too shabby as well.”

First look: Ducks vs. Predators


Records: Ducks 46-25-11, 103 points (first in the Pacific Division); Predators 41-27-14, 96 points (fourth in the Central).

Season series: Predators 2-1.

Results: Predators won 5-1, Oct. 22 at Nashville; Ducks won 4-2, Nov. 1 at Anaheim; Predators won 3-2, Nov. 17 at Nashville.

Ducks leading scorers: Center Ryan Getzlaf (13 goals, 50 assists), right wing Corey Perry (34 goals, 28 assists), center Ryan Kesler (21 goals, 32 assists).

Predators leading scorers: Center Filip Forsberg (33 goals, 31 assists), defenseman Roman Josi (14 goals, 47 assists), left wing James Neal (31 goals, 27 assists).

Ducks top goalies: Frederik Andersen (22-9-7, 2.30 goals-against average, .919 save percentage, 3 shutouts); John Gibson (21-13-4, 2.07 goals-against average, .920 save percentage, 4 shutouts).

Predators top goalie: Pekka Rinne (34-21-10, 2.48 goals-against average, .908 save percentage, 4 shutouts).


Game 1: Honda Center, Friday, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Game 2: Honda Center, Sunday, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Game 3: Nashville, April 19, 6:30 p.m., USA

Game 4: Nashville, April 21, 5 p.m., CNBC

Game 5 (if necessary): Honda Center, April 23, TBD, TBD

Game 6 (if necessary): Nashville, April 25, TBD, TBD

Game 7 (if necessary): Honda Center, April 27, TBD, TBD

Game report: Jets 2, Ducks 1 (OT)

Key play: Blake Wheeler scored 3:07 into overtime and the Winnipeg Jets rallied from a one-goal deficit to take a 2-1 victory Tuesday over the Ducks at the Honda Center. The Ducks dominated the play in OT, hanging on to the puck for extended stretches, but Wheeler scored on a counterattack.

Playoff update: The Ducks (44-24-11, 99 points) are tied with the Kings (47-28-5, 99 points) in standings points, but lead because they have played one fewer game. The Ducks and Kings play Thursday at Staples Center. The Ducks have three regular-season games to play and the Kings have two.

Pivotal performer: Ducks right wing Corey Perry tapped in a rebound of a Ryan Getzlaf shot off the goal post for his team-leading 33rd goal of the season, at 13:33 of the first period. Perry has four goals and six points in his past eight games.

Quote, unquote: “Until the third period I thought we were just playing to play with them,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We weren’t pushing like we were against Dallas. I thought we played better in the third period and in the overtime. But when the best faceoff player in the league (Ducks center Ryan Kesler) loses a draw and you don’t cover the guy (Winnipeg left wing Marko Dano) in front of the net, bad things happen (and the Jets scored the tying goal).”

Injury update: Ducks defenseman Simon Despres (upper body) returned to the lineup after sitting out six games. The Ducks were without Frederik Andersen (concussion), Kevin Bieksa (upper body), David Perron (shoulder), Brandon Pirri (upper body) and Rickard Rakell (appendectomy).

Game report: Ducks 3, Stars 1

Key play: Ryan Kesler scored a shorthanded goal 10 seconds into the third period, converting on a centering pass from teammate Jakob Silfverberg, and the Ducks went on to take a 3-1 victory Sunday from the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center.

Playoff update: The Ducks (44-24-10, 98 points) leapfrogged the idle Kings (46-27-5, 97 points) and moved into first place in the Pacific Division. The teams each have four regular-season games remaining, including a showdown Thursday against each other at Staples Center.

Pivotal performer: Center Nate Thompson scored his third goal in as many games, beating Stars goaltender Antti Niemi on a breakaway while the Ducks were shorthanded in the second period. Thompson intercepted a pass from Stars defenseman John Klingberg and skated in alone.

Milestone moment: Ducks left wing Andrew Cogliano played in his 700 th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NHL. Cogliano’s streak also is the sixth-longest streak in league history. Doug Jarvis set the Ironman standard with 964 consecutive games played between 1975 and 1987.

Quote, unquote: “It was our best game in a month,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We were a pretty determined group. We knew what their strengths were. I thought we put together a good game plan and the players executed it really well.”

Injury update: Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen sat out for the second game because of a concussion. Boudreau said Andersen took shots during a morning workout. John Gibson started his fourth consecutive game and Anton Khudobin served as his backup.

Game report: Ducks 8, Flames 3

Key play: Corey Perry’s goal 57 seconds into the game propelled the Ducks to a x-x victory Wednesday over Calgary, sending them past the idle Kings and into first place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks’ win also was their 23rd in a row over the Flames at the Honda Center, dating to 2003-04.

Playoff update: The Ducks (43-23-10, 96 points) lead the Kings (45-26-5, 95 points) by one point and the third-place Sharks (43-28-6, 92 points) by four. The Kings can retake first place with a victory Thursday over the Flames at Staples Center.

Quote, unquote: “You know what? We’re not even talking about that,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of chasing a fourth consecutive Pacific Division championship. “We’ve got six games left. Let’s play as well as we can. No matter who choose in the playoffs, it’s going to be a battle. We’ve won the division three years in a row, it’s not a big deal for us.”

Pivotal performer: Ducks center Ryan Kesler had a career-high four points (one goal, three assists) in his second game back in the lineup after a two-game absence to attend to a family matter. He also won 12 of 18 faceoffs (67 percent) as the Ducks went 38-25 in the circle (60 percent).

Injury update: Ducks goalie John Gibson left the game after teammate Hampus Lindholm accidentally crashed into him midway through the second period. Frederik Andersen replaced Gibson for the final 9:40 of the second before Gibson returned to the net to start the third.

Ducks-Oilers preview


Faceoff: 6 p.m.

TV/Radio: FSW / 830-AM

Update: Ducks center Ryan Kesler is expected to rejoin the lineup after a two-game absence to attend to a family matter at home. A victory over the Edmonton Oilers (30-41-7, last in the Pacific Division) would give the Ducks (41-23-10, second in the Pacific) a 3-1-1 record on their five-game trip across Canada. The Ducks have eight regular-season games remaining and catching the first-place Kings (45-25-5) remains a possibility. The Ducks are bruised and battered, however. They rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday over the Ottawa Senators without Kesler, Kevin Bieksa (upper-body injury), Simon Despres (upper body), David Perron (shoulder) and Sami Vatanen (head) in the lineup. Chris Stewart played Saturday after a 20-game absence because of a broken jaw. Rickard Rakell scored his 20th goal Saturday, extending his career high. Patrick Maroon, a former Duck, scored twice in the Oilers’ 6-4 loss Saturday to the Kings. Maroon has skated on a line with Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle. He was with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf at times last season with the Ducks

Jonathan Quick of the Kings, Ryan Kesler of the Ducks named to Team USA roster for World Cup

Team USA named goaltender Jonathan Quick of the Kings and center Ryan Kesler of the Ducks to its preliminary 16-player roster for the World Cup of Hockey next fall in Toronto. They are both veterans of Team USA’s Olympic team in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Cam Fowler, a Ducks defenseman, was not named to the team despite playing in Sochi. Fowler could be added to the roster later, however.

Ducks game-plan to stop Sabres rookie Jack Eichel wasn’t exactly rocket science

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau didn’t exactly reach into his bag of tricks to find a way to keep Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel off the scoresheet in a 1-0 victory Wednesday at the Honda Center.

“I just put Kesler on him,” Boudreau said, referring to checking-line center Ryan Kesler, who shadowed Eichel. “He seems to do the job against everybody. He makes it tough for those guys to play. He’s so good at reading the game. He’s got a tremendously high hockey IQ. He’s big and can skate and is physical. He’s been playing against everybody’s top line and he’s been doing a good job.

“He gets McDavid on Friday and then he gets Kopitar on Sunday.”

The Ducks face Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Friday and then Anze Kopitar and the Kings on Sunday, as Kesler’s workload won’t ease in the least.


Game report: Ducks 5, Flames 2

Key play: Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf scored 16 seconds into the third period to give the Ducks a two-goal lead en route to a 5-2 victory Sunday over the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center. Getzlaf extended his point streak to eight consecutive games (four goals, nine assists).

Pivotal performer: Ryan Kesler scored two goals, including a third-period strike that gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead. Kesler’s 12th and 13th goals of the season propelled the Ducks to their fifth consecutive victory, moving them within two points of the Pacific Division-leading Kings.

Quote, unquote: “He’s been a beast,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of Kesler. “Just because he doesn’t score, some people don’t think he’s played as good as he has in the past, but I think he been phenomenal. I mean, he’s checking the other team’s top line all the time, whether we’re at home or on the road. He’s done a great job of it.”

Gone streaking: Ducks left wing Andrew Cogliano played in his 680th consecutive game, breaking a tie for sixth place with the Vancouver Canucks’ Henrik Sedin. Cogliano’s streak, which began with his NHL debut Oct. 4, 2007, is the longest active streak in the league.

Between the pipes: John Gibson started in goal for the Ducks for the second consecutive game, after defeating the Canucks in the finale of a seven-game trip Thursday in Vancouver. Gibson made 22 saves. Jonas Hiller, a former Ducks goalie, started for the Flames. Hiller had 28 saves.

Video: Freeway Faceoff rewind from the Ducks’ 4-2 win over the Kings

Los Angeles News Group colleague Abbey Mastracco breaks down the Ducks’ 4-2 victory Thursday over the Kings, with interviews with Ryan Kesler and Hampus Lindholm of the Ducks and the ever-quotable Darryl Sutter of the Kings.