The NHL’s second-place finish in the Western Conference has made the Ducks’ fate in the playoffs a little murkier than it was in 2015-16.
While the Ducks have been a threat throughout the regular season, it’s been a rocky start to the playoffs with two losses to the Nashville Predators and a fourth-round exit to the San Jose Sharks in four games.
But the Ducks may be able to pull off some kind of upset to make it to the Eastern Conference finals if they can defeat the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Detroit is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, which gave them a 1-0 lead.
Detroit is looking for its first win since beating the New York Rangers 2-0 on Saturday and is coming in hot after a 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
The Ducks have won four straight games since falling behind 1-1 in the third period against the Nashville Coyotes on Oct. 26.
They’re 2-2-1 since then.
If they can beat the Red Wings and get a win in the first round of the playoffs, it could potentially change the way the series is decided.
“The best way to look at it is if we win two in a row, we’re a contender,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said.
“If we lose one, we have to take a step back and see if we’re going to get another shot.”
But, if the Ducks lose and the series ends up being tied, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the series split.
A win by Detroit would put the Ducks in a tiebreaker with the Chicago Blackhawks and give them the edge over Nashville for the first playoff spot.
This is a team that had a chance to win the Stanley, but it lost the final game of the regular-season to the Los Angeles Kings.
The Ducks are 2-3-0 against the Pacific Division since that loss.
So far this season, the Ducks are 5-2 against teams in the Eastern conference and 3-1 against teams outside the division.
Last season, they were 7-1-0 in the Pacific and 8-2 in the West.
There have been three playoff series between the Ducks and the Red Bulls in the past 10 seasons.
The Blackhawks won the first meeting in 2015.
Since then, they have gone 1-2, 0-2 and 2-5.
When the Ducks met the Blackhawks in the Stanley in 2014, they fell behind 2-on-1 and the Ducks had a 2.5-minute lead at the 5:05 mark.
The team went on to lose the series, 5-3, in seven games.