GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (40-24-12) at Los Angeles Kings (40-33-5).
TIME: Saturday, 6 p.m. EDT.
If the Los Angeles Kings intend on making the playoffs, they'll have to step it up offensively in their final four games.
Los Angeles looks to break out of its scoring slump when it hosts the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
The Kings are in 10th place in the Western Conference, but are just four points back of the eighth and final spot. Following this contest, Los Angeles will play Phoenix on the road and Northwest Division-leading Calgary at home before concluding the regular season in San Jose.
Los Angeles seemed to be making a serious bid to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2001-02 when it capped off a season-high five-game winning streak with a 3-2 overtime victory over Minnesota on March 7.
The Kings, however, have dropped 10 of 15 since that run and have scored only 29 goals over that span, including just five in their last six games.
In a 5-0 loss to the Sharks on Thursday, Los Angeles allowed 34 shots and was held to a season-low 14, including a 13-3 deficit in the third period.
Kings goalie Mathieu Garon is 5-9-0 with a 3.84 goals-against average in his last 14 starts, and has allowed four or more goals 10 times in those games.
"We made too many mistakes, it was everybody," said Pavol Demitra, who was held without a shot for just the third time this season. "We look like we are so nervous, like we don't want to play."
Anaheim has made the playoffs just three times since joining the NHL in 1993-94, but is on the verge of a fourth appearance. The Ducks are opening a five-game road trip against playoff-hopeful teams from the West, and conclude the regular season at home against Calgary.
Anaheim has gone 9-3-0 in its last 12 games to move within four points of fourth-place Nashville in the West, but is coming off a 5-3 loss to Pacific Division champion Dallas on Thursday that ended its franchise-record seven-game home win streak.
Rob Niedermayer and Andy McDonald scored in the first period to give the Ducks a 2-1 advantage before Dallas tallied three times in a 5:22 span of the second to take the lead for good.
"We didn't get the win, but we played hard and had enough chances to win," McDonald said. "You look around the room after the game and everyone's disappointed with the loss, but nobody felt like we were outplayed, or that they took it to us."
Leading scorer Teemu Selanne, who entered with 12 goals and 18 assists in his last 17 games, was held without a point for just the third time in those contests. He has four goals and six assists during a five-game point streak against the Kings.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 92 points, 2nd place, 13 PB, Pacific Division. Kings - 85 points, 4th place, 20 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 38 goals and 84 points; Scott Niedermayer, 48 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 169 PIM. Kings - Mark Parrish, 28 goals; Lubomir Visnovsky, 49 assists and 66 points; Sean Avery, 257 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 18.1 percent (80 for 441), 13th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (396 for 472), 10th. Kings - Power play: 14.5 percent (74 for 511), 28th. Penalty killing: 78.4 percent (363 for 463), 29th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (27-13-11, 2 SO, 2.63 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (13-11-1, 1, 2.53). Kings - Garon (31-24-3, 4, 3.19); Jason LaBarbera (9-9-2, 3.17).
SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 4-3
LAST MEETING: Tuesday; Mighty Ducks, 6-2. At Anaheim, Calif., Selanne had two goals and two assists.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 15-14-7 on the road; Kings - 25-13-1 at home.
|Apr 08 '06||ANA 4 at LAK 2||C. Kunitz|
|Apr 04 '06||LAK 2 at ANA 6||T. Selanne|
|Jan 30 '06||LAK 3 at ANA 4 - OT||S. Niedermayer|
|Jan 28 '06||ANA 6 at LAK 2||R. Getzlaf|
|Jan 23 '06||ANA 2 at LAK 3 - SO||J. Corvo|
|Jan 09 '06||LAK 2 at ANA 6||J. Hedstrom|
|Dec 16 '05||LAK 4 at ANA 3 - SO||P. Demitra|
|Oct 25 '05||ANA 1 at LAK 3||L. Robitaille|