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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 6:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Though neighbors, Ducks, Kings have travel plans

ANAHEIM -- Thirty miles separate the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, which would alleviate any travel issues for the unprecedented Southern California matchup, right?

Not quite. Factor in altered practice routines, traffic and venue availability, and it becomes complicated enough that traveling secretaries get involved for teams that won't have to get on a plane for the Western Conference Second Round series, which begins Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The Ducks and Kings played each other five times in the regular season, but this is different on multiple fronts. The Kings change their routine for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead of having their morning skate at their practice rink in El Segundo, 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, they will bus to Anaheim on Friday night, stay at a hotel, then conduct their skate at Honda Center for Game 1, Kings spokesman Michael Altieri said.

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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 5:12 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks goalie unknown, but Perreault, Etem return

ANAHEIM -- The identity of the Anaheim Ducks starting goaltender for Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Los Angeles Kings remains unknown. But two other pieces of their lineup became clear Friday.

Center Mathieu Perreault said he's ready for Game 1 on Saturday at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). Perreault missed Game 6 of the first round with a lower-body injury but has skated the past two days.

Perreault usually centers right wing Teemu Selanne and left wing Patrick Maroon on what has been an effective third line.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 6:35 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks eager to face Kings for first time in playoffs

ANAHEIM -- They went through drills with more pep than usual. There were a few huddles around the greaseboard. A good number of them spent some extra time on the ice.

Yes, the Anaheim Ducks officially have the Los Angeles Kings on their minds after they learned that the first Ducks-Kings matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs will start Saturday at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"I think it's going to be physical, so we're just getting them ready," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think you need something like that before getting into what I think is going to be a emotional series on both sides. Plus, it looked like they were tired of practicing. They just want to get at somebody rather than being friends.

"When you go so many days playing every second day, or at the most, two days off; we haven't had more than two days off in our schedule in the last half of our year. Now you get Sunday to Saturday, it's a long break for them."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 5:45 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Getzlaf credits Ducks' success for Hart nomination

ANAHEIM -- When Corey Perry won the Hart Trophy in 2011, it was thought to light a fire under longtime friend and Anaheim Ducks linemate Ryan Getzlaf. It took a slightly longer than expected, but Getzlaf truly took ownership of his captaincy this season.

That was confirmed Thursday when Getzlaf was announced as one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy, given to the NHL's most valuable player. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers are the other nominees.

Getzlaf's nomination comes two seasons after he endured his worst in the NHL, and it could give the Ducks two Hart winners on the same line.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 6:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Kings can draw on Game 7 experience

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The slight grins on their faces and certain tone in their voices were noticeable when Los Angeles Kings Mike Richards and Drew Doughty talked about playing a Game 7.

It's a cliché, but it's true: Game 7s bring hockey players back to their childhoods, when they envisioned scoring the game-winner from the driveway or backyard pond. Those thoughts seemed to run through Doughty's mind Tuesday when he talked about Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks to be played Wednesday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC,RDS,PRIME).

"Last night, I couldn't sleep [I was] just so excited for this game," Doughty said. "I'm going to have to get a nap in today and get a better sleep tonight because I'm a little tired this morning. I just can't wait to get it going. It's an unbelievable atmosphere in that arena when we come on the ice and they're going to be booing us like crazy right off the bat. It gets the goose bumps going and gets you excited for the game and gets you excited to hopefully beat that team in their rink. I know everyone is looking forward to it."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks defenseman Vlasic sidelined for Game 6

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks will not have defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

The Sharks will use Matt Irwin to replace Vlasic, who left Game 5 with an upper-body injury from a hit by Jarret Stoll late in the first period. Vlasic did not skate and did not even have a locker stall in the Sharks dressing room. San Jose leads Los Angeles 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

"It's a loss to our hockey club, but it's one we can overcome," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "Good teams that have opportunities to win and move on overcome adversity, and this is one of those situations. We feel that Matt Irwin or Matt Tennyson can go into that position and play. They're different players. They're different levels of experience, but both of them have National Hockey League experience, and are capable of getting it done.

"It's not about the one you lose, it's about the collective group, as a whole, that has to pull together. We can overcome that loss."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:14 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks name Stalock as Game 6 starter

LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock sat at his locker stall and looked at the game notes, specifically the roster for the Los Angeles Kings. He counted off the names of the players he's seen in the American Hockey League.

Stalock knows several of the Kings' younger players from playing against them in the Calder Cup Playoffs, and he would like to use that knowledge to eliminate the Kings when he starts Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

It will be his first career start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. San Jose leads the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 6:31 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sutter praises Toffoli after latest Kings win

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter walked into his Sunday media session and pretended to be a cameraman in his own scrum. He stood behind one of the cameras and playfully asked questions like a reporter.

"Did you think that was a good goal?" Sutter joked. "What did you think of your third line?"

The small group of giggling reporters almost couldn't get over it. Roughly 12 hours earlier, Sutter conducted a 42-second postgame press conference that featured him in his classic, tight-lipped contrarian stance.

Sutter was cheerier a day after his Los Angeles Kings trailed 3-2 in the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks. Their attempt to become the fourth team in NHL history to win after erasing a 3-0 deficit resumes with Game 6 at Staples Center on Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).


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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 11:09 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Brenden Dillon returns for Stars in Game 5

ANAHEIM -- Defenseman Brenden Dillon was in the lineup for the Dallas Stars when they faced the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series on Friday.

Dillon missed the first four games of the series with a lower-body injury sustained on April 11 against the St. Louis Blues.
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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 10:35 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Getzlaf is back in lineup for Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf participated in warm-ups and will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center.

Getzlaf took line rushes with Corey Perry and Nick Bonino. Getzlaf missed Game 4 with an undisclosed upper-body injury that is believed to be related to the facial injury that required stitches in Game 1.

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Quote of the Day

I've been so fortunate, blessed, to play a long time with some great players and be on power plays, play in some great cities and stuff. It's been fun.

— Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla on tying Dino Ciccarelli for 46th place on the NHL's all-time list with his 1,200th career point after their win vs. the Predators on Friday