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Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 2:04 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Gibson's Game 7 turns into a nightmare

ANAHEIM -- For the second time in his NHL coaching career, Bruce Boudreau had to pull his prized young goaltender in a Game 7.

John Gibson became a major storyline in the first Freeway Series when he was recalled from the American Hockey League and won two straight games to help the Anaheim Ducks forge a lead against the Los Angeles Kings.

But the 20-year-old did not have a Game 7 to remember. Boudreau pulled him early in the second period after allowing four goals on 18 shots in a 6-2 loss at Honda Center on Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 05.16.2014 / 2:44 PM

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

Ducks shuffle lines for Game 7 against Kings

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is known for frequently tweaking his line combinations, and it appears he will try another twist, at least to start Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Left wing Daniel Winnik skated on the third line with center Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne at the morning skate. Left wing Patrick Maroon usually has been with Perreault and Selanne, and the trio thrived earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but Maroon skated on the fourth line with center Nick Bonino and right wing Kyle Palmieri.

Winnik said he's played with Perreault and Selanne about two or three times all season. It could last a shift or two, but Boudreau pointed out that Maroon, Bonino and Palmieri were a good line for the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.

"They've had moments up here that have been very good," Boudreau said. "So [I'm] just trying to create a little bit of chemistry. I think, one [Winnik is] a better skater than [Maroon] and might be able to be a little bit better defensively on that line."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 8:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings forward Williams thrives in Game 7s

Maybe Justin Williams is so good in Game 7 because the Los Angeles Kings forward has been practicing for them since he was a kid.

"Of course it's Game 7 and it's usually the Stanley Cup Final too," Williams said Thursday of his childhood imaginations. "It's the same thing with any other sport. It's the last second of the game and buzzer is coming down, it's the ninth inning, two outs, football game, fourth quarter or last play. It's everything. It's you or them, and this is what you relish as a kid, coming out on top."

Williams will play the sixth Game 7 of his NHL career on Friday when the Kings and Anaheim Ducks compete at Honda Center to decide their Western Conference Second Round series (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Williams is 5-0 with 10 points (five goals) in his previous Game 7s of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has two game-winning goals.


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Posted On Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:24 AM

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

Ducks' Gibson on Lewis goal: 'It happens'

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Ducks rookie goalie John Gibson isn't known for being overly talkative, and he was certainly concise when asked about the first bad goal of his Stanley Cup Playoffs career.

With Anaheim trailing 1-0 in the second period of Game 6 of this Western Conference Second Round series, Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis skated down left wing and wristed a harmless, low shot that beat Gibson under the pads at 14:04.

The Kings won 2-1 to force Game 7 on Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Gibson recovered after what could have been a confidence-blowing goal. Asked about resetting after the goal, Gibson said, "Yeah, it was just one shot. Missed it. It happens."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 3:58 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings coach Sutter praises Gaborik's contributions

LOS ANGELES -- Marian Gaborik has been seen as a divisive player during his 13 years in the NHL.

At times an electric scorer at a level few can match, and at times perceived as a frustrating player because of inconsistency or injury, there have always seemed to be a wide range of opinions about Gaborik.

Darryl Sutter doesn't seem like a guy who is too worried about things like that, and his experiences coaching Gaborik since he joined the Los Angeles Kings before the NHL Trade Deadline this season seem to reinforce that.

"Zero," Sutter said when asked what he had to adjust in Gaborik's game. "I talked to [Gaborik] when we got him in Winnipeg. I told him he was playing with [Anze Kopitar] and I'm not going to go out of my way to change the way he plays. Just give him a basic guideline. I said a couple days after we got him his hockey IQ is off the charts, so he can adjust in a hurry. He's been an easy guy, quite honest, to deal with."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 3:39 PM

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

Vatanen providing Ducks with spark from blue line

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen saw his hockey cards come to life when he arrived in Anaheim. There across the dressing room were his Finnish idols, right wing Teemu Selanne and center Saku Koivu. Vatanen collected Selanne's card growing up in Finland.

"Of course it was a special moment for me," Vatanen said. "I saw those guys, who I've been watching all my young life, and try to learn from them. It was fun. They're good guys and I like to hang out with them. It's pretty special."

Selanne, an avid car collector, gave Vatanen a Mercedes-Benz to drive around town. On the ice, he and Koivu helped Vatanen assimilate to the Ducks.

"Every day when I got here, I didn't understand what the coaches were saying," Vatanen said. "I got to ask them and speak my own language."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 7:35 PM

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

Ducks aim to extend season for Koivu, Selanne

ANAHEIM -- There's no denying the excitement that the young core of the Anaheim Ducks has generated the past few days. Between rookie goalie John Gibson, left wing Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman Sami Vatanen, the future looks very bright.

But the time is now for veteran forwards Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, who acknowledged Tuesday what it would mean to eliminate the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Second Round. Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can close it out in Game 6 on Wednesday at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).


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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 6:06 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings face Game 6 'not like we're panicking'

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- By the time the Los Angeles Kings began Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks, the players and coach Darryl Sutter felt they were already playing better, and by sticking to the process, the results followed.

Sutter was adamant the Kings were not as bad as the score indicated in Game 2 against the Sharks (7-2), and several players have said they felt the Kings were the better team in a Game 3 overtime loss (4-3).

The Kings are in a familiar spot during their Western Conference Second Round series with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have won three straight, and the Kings will face elimination from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs for a fifth time Wednesday at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The plan will be the same: Make minor adjustments and trust the process.

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 9:57 PM

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

Nolan in, Clifford out for Kings in Game 5

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter didn't hint at any line adjustments Monday morning, but it appears he will change them up against the Anaheim Ducks for Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round series at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Kings captain Dustin Brown skated with center Anze Kopitar and forward Marian Gaborik in warm-ups. It also appears that forward Jordan Nolan will be in the Los Angeles lineup in favor of Kyle Clifford and play on the fourth line with center Mike Richards and forward Dwight King.


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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 4:23 PM

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

Ducks' Perreault relieved to get back in lineup

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks center Mathieu Perreault is expected to return to the lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

Perreault missed Game 4 with a lower-body injury, but he said it pained him more to have to watch the game.

"It is so hard," Perreault said. "It gets me so nervous. When you play, it's not quite like that, but when you're watching, I can't sit down. I start walking around because I get so nervous. I'd rather be out there playing than watching, that's for sure."

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 4:12 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings focused on getting more from top players

ANAHEIM -- The top players on the Anaheim Ducks talked at length about needing to be better after Game 2 of this Western Conference Second Round Series against the Los Angeles Kings.

Forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have responded with strong efforts in Games 3 and 4 to get the Ducks back into the series. Now the chatter is similar down the hallway.

After dominating the end of a Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks and helping the Kings take a 2-0 lead against the Ducks, the top guns for Los Angeles have gone silent of late. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 on Monday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 5:41 PM

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

Kings shrug off Game 4 loss to Ducks, Gibson

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings met earlier than usual for an off day Sunday morning, but it was not a back-to-the-drawing-board session. The Kings were the better team for most of a 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round.

That's probably why coach Darryl Sutter was at his sarcastic best in making a reference to the television show "M*A*S*H" when asked if the Kings are rattled by playing well and losing.

"Yeah, I'm not rattled," Sutter said. "I'm just thankful I'm alive. I'm fortunate to pull through after a devastating loss last night. Radar and Hawkeye had to get me up to come here today."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 5:14 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Gibson to start for Ducks in Game 5 vs. Kings

ANAHEIM -- Goalie John Gibson will start for the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of their Western Conference Second Round series Monday against the Los Angeles Kings at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), coach Bruce Boudreau announced Sunday.

"Well, I kind of believe that it's not a difficult decision tomorrow," Boudreau said. "I'm not going to try to play that game. He came in. He played great. He's going to go again."

Gibson, 20, became the youngest goalie in NHL history to earn a shutout in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut with a 2-0 win against the Kings in Game 4 on Saturday at Staples Center that tied the best-of-7 series 2-2 after the Ducks lost the first two at Honda Center.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 9:46 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Gibson starts in goal for Ducks against Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau made another bold goaltending decision Saturday, with 20-year-old rookie John Gibson starting Game 4 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 9:30 PM

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

Ducks juggle line combinations for Game 4

LOS ANGELES -- Devante Smith-Pelly will take another turn at top-line left wing for the Anaheim Ducks to start Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Smith-Pelly took line rushes with center Ryan Getzlaf and right wing Corey Perry in pre-game warm-ups at Staples Center. Smith-Pelly played with Getzlaf, a Hart Trophy finalist, and 2011 Hart winner Perry briefly earlier this season and had chemistry with the two. He has two goals with a plus-1 rating in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 4:05 PM

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

Ducks don't name Game 4 goalie

LOS ANGELES -- It remained unclear who would start in goal for the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The Kings lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau sounded like he would use Jonas Hiller, who left the ice first at the morning skate, although rookie goalie John Gibson stepped off about two minutes after Hiller. Gibson, 20, would be a bold choice; he's played three NHL games and none in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Friday, 05.09.2014 / 4:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks recall goalie Gibson from AHL

The Anaheim Ducks recalled goaltender John Gibson from Norfolk of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen was injured in the third period of Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 9:59 PM

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

Ducks turn to Andersen in Game 3

LOS ANGELES -- Frederik Andersen will start in goal for the Anaheim Ducks for Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night at Staples Center.

Andersen led the Ducks onto the ice for warm-ups.


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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 4:00 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks could look to Palmieri, Vatanen for spark

LOS ANGELES -- Coach Bruce Boudreau still didn't confirm it, but there could be a couple of changes to the lineup for the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen was officially recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League and forward Emerson Etem, who played in the first two games of this series, was sent down. Kyle Palmieri is expected to replace Etem for the Ducks, while Vatanen could also be a new addition for Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), who lead this Western Conference Second Round series 2-0.

"He's a great scorer. He led the American League in scoring when he was 19," Boudreau said of Palmieri. "He's got a great shot. His shot is as good as anybody's. He can skate and he's got a bit of physicality. That's what he brings."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 5:03 PM

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

Palmieri could be back in Ducks lineup for Game 3

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau contemplated a lineup tweak during two days off and it appears wing Kyle Palmieri could return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Palmieri skated with center Nick Bonino and wing Devante Smith-Pelly in practice Wednesday. Palmieri seems a logical choice for Anaheim, which has scored three goals in losing the first two games of the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.06.2014 / 8:03 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings' Richards contributing despite scoring funk

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Through nine games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards have a couple of things in common.

One is, the Los Angeles Kings forwards each saw a lot of ice time against the top two centers of the San Jose Sharks, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture, in the first round. The other is they have matching Corsi for percentages.

The Kings have attempted 50.6 percent of the shots when Kopitar is on the ice at even strength, which is the same number as when Richards is out there.

That's where the similarities end. Kopitar leads the NHL with 14 points this postseason; Richards has no goals and two points heading into Game 3 against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"Yeah. Frustrated is a good way to say it, I guess," Richards said when asked about the zero next to his name in the goals column. "You always want to help the team win. If it's scoring goals or doing different things, you try to help in any way possible. Obviously scoring goals would be nice, I'm not going to lie, but you can't get frustrated. If you show frustration, that can kind of trickle throughout the team too. It's not a selfish thing, it's not a personal thing. It's all about the team right now. It's all about winning hockey games. You want to contribute by scoring goals, but at the same time we're winning games right now and I've got to keep doing the same things to help the team."

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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 3:56 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Schultz expected to make Kings debut in Game 2

ANAHEIM -- Defenseman Robyn Regehr did not skate Monday morning for the Los Angeles Kings, and all indications are Jeff Schultz will replace him in the lineup for Game 2 of this Western Conference Second Round series at Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Regehr left Game 1 midway through the first period and did not return. He hasn't participated in either of the two team on-ice workouts since, and coach Darryl Sutter has not provided an update on his condition.

Schultz was signed before the season started, but this will be his first game for the Kings. He spent most of the regular season with Manchester in the American Hockey League, and when he was recalled he was a healthy scratch.

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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 3:26 PM

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

Etem, Smith-Pelly raising play, giving Ducks options

ANAHEIM -- Not many teams in the NHL can scratch the likes of Daniel Winnik and Kyle Palmieri. Winnik is one of the better penalty killers around, and Palmieri is a potential 20-goal scorer.

The Anaheim Ducks have done so twice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of the play of young wings Devante Smith-Pelly and Emerson Etem. The two were on the fourth line with center Nick Bonino in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings, and coach Bruce Boudreau had them together the morning of Game 2 on Monday night at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"I thought they played real good [in Game 1]," Boudreau said. "I thought it was Emerson's best game of the three that he's played. [Smith-Pelly's] played well since he got here, both physically and offensively, and now killing penalties. I think he's engaged with the team, and he's playing like he was when he was an 18-year-old and made the team."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 6:04 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Injuries push Kings' Martinez into the spotlight

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had a big game in a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series with the Anaheim Ducks. He opened the scoring on the power play and stopped Ducks star Corey Perry from scoring the overtime winner when he blocked an attempt at the open net with goaltender Jonathan Quick out of position.

Impressive as the game-changing block was, Martinez only earned so much praise from Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

"Actually, he gave me a hard time. He said that my rebound control wasn't very good," Martinez said. "Darryl told me I either have to kick the rebound out wide, not up the middle, or at least cover it and get a whistle. I guess I'll work on that next time."

Martinez also logged more than 28 minutes of ice time because veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr left the game midway through the first period with an undisclosed injury. That total surpassed Martinez's career high by more than four minutes.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 5:54 PM

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

Ducks veteran Selanne raising his game vs. Kings

ANAHEIM -- The symmetry was perfect for Teemu Selanne. His goal came at 8:08 of the third period and it was his 43rd career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Selanne, 43, wears No. 8. He scored what would have been the game-winning goal in the first postseason game between his Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings.

"I didn't know that," Selanne said. "That would be nice."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 3:23 PM

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

Ducks, Kings expecting a physical series

ANAHEIM – It's no secret that the Anaheim Ducks are a high-scoring, skating team. But it's a misconception that they're a finesse team that can't bang with the Los Angeles Kings in a best-of-7 series.

That was proven at least twice in the regular season, and the Ducks intend on extending that physical play to the Western Conference Second Round series against the Kings. Game 1 is Saturday at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"We had difficulty with them the year before, in terms of playing their type of game and in terms of beating them," forward Andrew Cogliano said. "But I think this year we've come to the realization that if we don't play their game we just can't beat them. It's that simple. You see teams throughout the year [that are] more offensive, run-and-gun teams, and they just don't have success against them."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 2:55 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks' Hiller expected to start against Kings

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau did not name his starting goaltender Saturday morning for Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings. But signs point to veteran Jonas Hiller getting the nod ahead of rookie Frederik Andersen at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Hiller did not take part in Anaheim's morning skate, which started before 9 a.m., because of the 5 p.m. local start time for Game 1, but Andersen did. Boudreau did note that Hiller has not taken part in morning skates before early starts all season. Hiller has started for the Ducks on those occasions.

"I don't know, you'll have to find out," Boudreau said when asked to name his starting goaltender. "I don't know why it's such a big deal. One of the two will be playing. We're going to have six guys on the ice most of the night.

"If it makes L.A. work a little harder to figure out on their scouting report on who they're going to go against, even if it is five minutes extra, let's make them work a little harder."

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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 Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 5:21 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings look to build on rivalry with Ducks

The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are separated by 30 miles and are very familiar with each other thanks to several years of divisional matchups. Despite a shared history that includes the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, they have never played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That is until now.

Fresh off becoming the fourth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit, the Kings are ready to forget about their run in the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks and focus on their Southern California rival.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 6:04 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks staying sharp as they await next opponent

The Anaheim Ducks held practice Wednesday without forwards Mathieu Perreault and Matt Beleskey, who were kept off the ice for precautionary reasons.

The Ducks website described the practice as vigorous while they wait for their Western Conference Second Round opponent to be determined. It will be either the San Jose Sharks or Los Angeles Kings, who play Game 7 on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA).

"Personally, I was hoping the series would end last game [Game 6] because I hate having this week of practice," forward Ben Lovejoy said. "We had a really hard practice [Tuesday]. No matter who we're going to be playing, they're going to be coming in with a successful Game 7 mentality, and we need to be ready for that."

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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threatening illness