Local

Ducks fire coach Bruce Boudreau after early playoff exit

Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks yells at officials during the third period against the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Honda Center on April 17, 2016 in Anaheim, California. The Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-2.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks yells at officials during the third period against the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Honda Center on April 17, 2016 in Anaheim, California. The Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-2.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday, two days after their disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs.

Ducks general manager Bob Murray announced the decision to fire Boudreau, who hasn't been able to pair postseason success with steady excellence in his two NHL jobs in Anaheim and Washington. Boudreau has won 409 regular-season games and eight division titles, but just five playoff rounds in his coaching career.

The Ducks have lost a Game 7 on home ice in four consecutive playoff years, culminating in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Nashville in the first round.

"This was a very difficult decision to make," Murray said in a statement. "Bruce is a good coach and character person, and we wish him the best of luck in the future."

Boudreau had spectacular regular-season success with the Ducks, leading them to four consecutive Pacific Division titles while going 208-104-40 in nearly five seasons in charge. He had similar success in his first NHL coaching job in Washington, going 201-88-40 and winning four Southeast Division titles in parts of five seasons.

But the Ducks' last four seasons have ended in much the same pain experienced by Capitals fans, whose teams won just two playoff rounds in four postseasons under Boudreau. The coach is an inexplicable 1-7 in Game 7s in his career, including six consecutive losses in the decisive game since 2009.

The Ducks also blew a 3-2 series lead in each of the past four postseasons, missing two opportunities to eliminate their opponents.

Anaheim outshot the Predators 28-10 over the final two periods of Game 7 at Honda Center, but couldn't overcome two early goals in a gut-wrenching loss.

Anaheim fell one game short of the Stanley Cup Final last season, losing the Western Conference finals to Chicago in Boudreau's longest postseason run.

That was the second straight year the Ducks were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions, following their 2014 loss to Los Angeles in the second round. Anaheim's first-round losses to Detroit in 2013 and to wild-card Nashville this season were more embarrassing.

The Ducks won three playoff rounds in four seasons under Boudreau, never reaching the Stanley Cup Final with Murray's talent-loaded rosters.

Boudreau is the second coach to fail to coax postseason poise out of Anaheim teams led by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the two fixtures on the Ducks' roster since their only Stanley Cup title run in 2007. Perry didn't score a goal in the entire seven-game series against Nashville, while Getzlaf failed to inspire his teammates to success as their captain.

Coach Randy Carlyle, who led the Ducks to the 2007 title, was fired by Murray in November 2011 after a slow start. Boudreau took over and immediately sparked the franchise to a second-half rally that fell short of the postseason.

Boudreau then won the next four division titles, and this season featured a remarkable second half. Anaheim got off to a 1-7-2 start and struggled all the way to Christmas, but responded with an NHL-best 34-10-5 performance after the Christmas break to steal the division title on the final day of the season.

Murray showed patience with Boudreau and the Ducks during the start of the year. When it wasn't rewarded with postseason success, he fired Boudreau.

"We would like to express our appreciation to Bruce and his wife Crystal for their commitment to our community," Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli said. "Bruce led us to four division titles with tremendous passion and pride, and we will always be grateful for his contributions both on and off the ice."

This story has been updated.