You don't have to remind Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf just how important tonight's game is between the Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers — he gets it.
So when Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said his team has to play the next game as though it's the "most important game of the year," it's a message the team has heard all season long.
"He says that a lot, just so you know," said Getzlaf, surrounded by TV cameras and reporters after the morning skate.
"It's Game 2, obviously we're in the playoffs, every game's the most important game. So as long as we move forward, keep playing, progressing the way we want to. We want to try and take care of our building as much as we can — try and get the split and go into Game 3 over there."
Shutting down McDavid and Draisaitl
A key to doing that will mean continuing to shut down Connor McDavid. While that responsibility falls mainly on centre Ryan Kesler, others will need to chip in too.
They'll also have to shift some of that focus onto Leon Draisaitl who stung the Ducks for four points in Wednesday's win.
"You gotta stay close to him and be above him," said Kesler, referring to the Oilers' young captain.
As for whether or not Draisaitl will face the same kind of blanket coverage, Kesler wouldn't say.
"We have a game plan going into tonight and we'll go from there."
Ducks will come out hard
In the other dressing room, the Oilers know what it's like after you steal a game in the opposing team's rink.
They saw how the San Jose Sharks responded in Game 4 of that playoff series, scoring 15 seconds in and putting up seven goals in Edmonton's most lopsided playoff loss in history.
Forward Milan Lucic told reporters he and his teammates are fully aware of what's going to happen once that puck drops
"Those are the the lessons that you learn through a season and even through a playoffs," said Lucic.
"You can't dwell on a win, and there's no carry-overs. It's not Champions League soccer where there's an aggregate. So it's 0-0 going into tonight and you know the urgency and the competitiveness goes up another level as the series goes on and we expect that here tonight."
During his media and availability, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle also confirmed that defenceman Kevin Bieksa will be out of the game due to a lower body injury.
"He should be available late in the series," Carlyle said after his team finished up their morning skate.
That could open the door for Ducks defenceman Sami Vatanen, who was injured early on in the Flames series. There is no word yet though on whether he will be in tonight's lineup.