Andrew Cogliano

For Ducks, Hagelin trade is all about keeping up — literally — with the NHL’s elite

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SUNRISE — To hear Bob Murray explain it, acquiring Carl Hagelin from the Rangers was his way of keeping up with the NHL’s top teams.

“We can play with some speed now,” the Ducks GM explained. “If you watched Tampa Bay and Chicago [in the Stanley Cup Final], that was pretty quick.

“You see who’s in the finals and you see how we got beat — the speed element of the game is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So we have to move along with the times, and we got a guy that can really skate.”

Hagelin, who won the NHL’s fastest skater at the 2012 All-Star Game, certainly gives the Ducks some wheels. Widely regarded as one of the quickest wingers in the game, he now joins a team that already boasted one tremendous skater in Andrew Cogliano who, like Hagelin, has also won the ASG’s fastest skater competition (in 2009).

Of course, Anaheim had to give to get. That meant shipping out another speedster and former first-round pick Emerson Etem who, despite his skating ability and skill set, never seemed to find his niche with the club.

“He’d just gotten to a point where a change was good for him,” Murray explained. “With our coaching staff the way it was, I felt it was time for him to move on.”

Hagelin figures to play much larger role with the Ducks than Etem did. Coming off a year in which he posted career highs in nearly every category — games (82), assists (18) and points (35) — Hagelin could see even more minutes than the 15:14 he averaged for the Blueshirts last year.

“We’re quite excited about that,” Murray said. “Hagelin has speed, tenacity and he’s on the puck. Really good penalty killer, and I think he can play the power play with the right guys.”

The endgame, of course, is for Hagelin’s speed to help Anaheim get over the hump. Built to win now, the club came within a game of the Stanley Cup Final this year, only to lose Game 7 of the Western Conference Final to one of those speedy teams Murray referenced — the Chicago Blackhawks.

It’s a loss that’s stuck with the Ducks GM.

“We didn’t win,” Murray said. “We didn’t win. It’s the object to win, isn’t it?”

Ducks juggle lines ahead of Game 7

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The Anaheim Ducks did a bit of line juggling during the team’s morning skate at the Honda Center on Saturday.

After sitting out Game 6, it appears Tomas Fleischmann will enter the Ducks’ lineup tonight in place of Emerson Etem. The 31-year-old practiced on the team’s fourth line with Kyle Palmieri and Rickard Rakell.

Ducks’ coach Bruce Boudreau has a history with Fleischmann, which dates back to when the two were with the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals.

“There’s a real good chance that he’s in,” said Boudreau. “I just think an experienced guy, he’s been through these wars, he’s played in Game 7s, he’s been in championship games.

“When I was with Hershey, it was a while ago, but he was the MVP in the playoffs. So he knows what to do in these situations.”

Fleischmann played 10:19 in Game 5 after sitting out four games as a healthy scratch.

In five playoff games this spring, Fleischmann has one assist.

With Palmieri on the fourth line, Jiri Sekac moves up to the Ducks’ third line along side Nate Thompson and Andrew Cogliano. Sekac has a plus-1 rating and two penalty minutes while averaging 11:14 in ice time in six games this spring.

Puck drop tonight is at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Boudreau mulls line changes ahead of Game 7

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Though he wouldn’t commit to anything, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau is contemplaing mixing up his bottom-six forward group for tomorrow’s Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against Chicago.

Right winger Kyle Palmieri — who has spent most of this series on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Nate Thompson — was replaced by Jiri Sekac on the third line, moving Palmieri onto the fourth with Rickard Rakell and Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann had taken the place of Emerson Etem on the bottom line, which has happened on a few occasions this postseason (including Game 5 of this series).

The moves were a chemistry test, according to Boudreau, who suggested he might use these new units as Anaheim looks to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in eight years.

“I wanted to see it in practice today,” Boudreau said, per NHL.com. “We tried that a little bit. I wanted to make sure that if that’s the route we’re going to go, then I wanted to see if they at least had sort of some good chemistry together. We talked about it and we’ll talk about it again [Saturday] morning.

“By no means are those set in stone, those lines today.”

Video: Blackhawks power play strikes twice early in Game 2

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The Chicago Blackhawks, trailing 1-0 in this Western Conference Final, got off to a quick start in Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks, courtesy of their power play.

Andrew Shaw opened the scoring just 2:14 into the first period with his second of the post-season, making Patrick Maroon pay for an earlier boarding penalty.

Just over four minutes later, the Blackhawks increased their lead thanks to a Marian Hossa power play goal, also his second of these playoffs.

However, any Blackhawks’ euphoria from the dream start was short-lived. The Ducks, on a goal from Andrew Cogliano, cut Chicago’s lead to 2-1 just before the midway point of the first period.

The puck deflected in off the skate of Cogliano, but the goal stood after a brief review.

Ducks power play strikes to push Flames to brink of elimination

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In what was a physical, chippy game on Friday, an undisciplined penalty proved costly for the Calgary Flames, who are now facing elimination.

At the end of the second period, Flames forward Joe Colborne got his stick up on Francois Beauchemin while trying to finish his check, resulting in a four-minute power play for the Ducks. And the Anaheim power play made Colborne and the Flames pay.

Just 1:11 into the third period, Matt Beleskey scored on that power play to give the Ducks the lead. That goal stood as the winner. Anaheim went on to win by a final score of 4-2, taking a 3-1 series lead.

“Frustrating,” Colborne told Sportsnet.ca. “Just trying to (walk) that line of being physical. I’m not going to comment on whether I liked (the call) or not, but that’s on me. I definitely let the boys down there.”

The Flames, who were also unsuccessful on a five-on-three power play in the third period when they were trailing by a goal, entered this series as the underdog. They’ll now need a massive comeback — they made a habit of doing that in third periods during the regular season — if they are to have any chance of getting back into this.

After falling behind a goal less than four minutes into the game, the Flames wasted no time battling back. The first six minutes featured three goals, with Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland scoring 1:07 apart to give Calgary the lead.

The second period featured numerous turning points.

Frederik Andersen made a sprawling glove save on Johnny Gaudreau to keep it a one-goal game. It was a huge stop. Later in the period, Gaudreau was guilty of a turnover right in front of his own net, directly leading to Andrew Cogliano’s tying goal.

Game 5 goes Sunday in Anaheim.