Ducks, Senators play for Stanley Cup
ANAHEIM, Calif. ” Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson isn’t familiar with the play of Anaheim star Chris Pronger. Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf doesn’t really know anyone on the Senators.
The two teams have faced each other just once since 2003. They get to reacquaint themselves Monday night, slamming into each other in the opener of the Stanley Cup finals.
“It’s a little bit weird to meet a team in the finals that you haven’t seen all season. It’s going to be a different experience come Monday,” said Getzlaf, who turned 22 this month and is a member of the Ducks’ productive “Kid Line.”
“They’re a strong skating team, they score a lot and they’re at the top of their game, same as we are. It should be fun. Anyone can make their predictions, but until you see the two teams clash, it’s really hard to say what’s going to happen.”
The Senators are making their debut in the NHL championship. The Ducks lost Game 7 to New Jersey in 2003 in their only other appearance.
“I haven’t seen them much, a period here and there (on TV) during the playoffs,” Alfredsson said.
Anaheim’s Chris Kunitz scored the winner in a shootout when the Ducks beat the Senators on Jan. 19, 2006 in Ottawa. Kunitz recently underwent surgery for a broken right hand and isn’t expected to play in the finals.
That was the lone meeting between the teams since Oct. 17, 2003, when Patrick Lalime had 30 saves in a 3-0 victory in Anaheim.
Asked if the unfamiliarity adds intrigue to the series, Alfredsson said: “Both yes and no. I think sometimes it’s good to have a little bit of a history with the team, maybe. I don’t know too much about them, to be honest.
“I’m sure everybody is going to be excited to see what kind of game it’s going to be when we start Monday.”
Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is studying tape and scouting reports to check out the Senators’ tendencies.
“It should be interesting. But we’re going to learn about each other pretty quickly,” he said. “We can’t spend two or three games trying to figure them out. After the first 10 minutes, you have to be playing your game, not be worrying about what they’re going to do.”
Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer, who played against the Senators during his time in the Eastern Conference with New Jersey, said this matchup creates a new dynamic.
“The first little bit will be far different than playing any team you’ve played eight, 10 times in a year, counting exhibitions,” he said. “That happens when you get to this stage and you’re playing the team from the other conference. We’re both in the same boat.”