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Freeway Playoff: Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks finally meet in NHL playoffs for 1st time

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 5:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Freeway Playoff: Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks finally meet in NHL playoffs for 1st time

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Southern California is in hockey heaven.

The Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks will meet in the second round of the NHL playoffs this weekend, taking their Freeway Faceoff rivalry into the post-season for the first time.

In their 20th year of head-to-head competition for the hearts of the Southland's hockey fans, the Kings and Ducks are finally meeting in the playoffs. That's the only way to start a true rivalry between these neighbours, according to players from both teams.

Their rinks are 30 miles apart on the I-5 freeway, and both teams are eager for a series with no significant travel. That's normal for many Eastern Conference teams, but unprecedented in the West.

The high-scoring Ducks dominated the defence-first Kings in the regular season, winning four of five.

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He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft