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Ducks see tight battles for playoff spots until season’s end

By in Press Enterprise on February 10, 2018

By Eric Stephens

ANAHEIM — Those among the Ducks who chose to look at the standings Friday morning could see themselves among four teams separated by two points for the second Western Conference wild card playoff spot.

Intertwined with that race are two teams holding the second and third positions in the Pacific Division – and sitting just two points ahead of them. And with the final third of the season remaining, the Ducks don’t see either changing until the final weekend.

“I think if it’s this tight now, I don’t see any reason why anything would change,” Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. “Unless a team went on a crazy win streak and kind of distanced themselves from the rest of us.

“I don’t see that happening with the importance of the games now moving forward. I expect it to be a pretty tight race until the finish.”

Regulation losses hurt. A string of regulation losses are damaging. Because of how tight those twin races are, Fowler sees it as a must to at least secure a point through heading to overtime if two can’t be won within 60 minutes.

The flip side is that one significant winning streak could be the separation one team needs to lock down an available spot. The Ducks haven’t won more than three in a row but they have also steadily avoided lengthy droughts when they didn’t gain points.

“That’s why every game becomes so important,” Fowler said. “Even if you’re just able to say tie up a game late and get it to overtime, any points that you can get along the way, those are going to be huge.

“Because when you tally them up at the end, you never know. You might be one point out or one point in. You can’t take anything for granted. They’re all important.”

The Ducks have left […]    

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