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Ducks host Kings in teams' first playoff meeting

by Corey Masisak



Season series: The Anaheim Ducks won four of five games against the Los Angeles Kings. Two of the games were decided by one goal; two others went to a shootout, including the Kings' win. The only game that wasn't a one-goal final was the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodgers Stadium, which Anaheim won 3-0.

Big story: Southern California's two NHL franchises will meet for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Ducks have been in the NHL since 1993; the Kings entered the League in 1967.

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles has the second-longest winning streak in the League after sweeping the final four games to defeat the San Jose Sharks in seven in a Western Conference First Round series.

The Kings outscored the Sharks 18-5 in the final four games of the series and held San Jose's top five forwards to a combined one goal and three points after the Sharks had taken a 3-0 series lead. Goaltender Jonathan Quick had a .963 save percentage to help lead the turnaround.

"When they started playing, they were playing like when they won the Cup," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's what I thought. They just kept coming and coming and they didn't deviate from the way they play. They had four lines playing, and Quick was looking so much more like Quick in the last four games than he did in the first three, which is good ... for them, not for us."

Ducks: A big reason for Anaheim's success against Los Angeles this season was goaltending. Now the Ducks' goaltending situation may be the biggest question mark for either team as this Western Conference Second Round series commences.

Jonas Hiller stopped 85 of 87 shots in two games against Los Angeles, and Frederik Andersen stopped 94 of 99 in three starts against the Kings. Boudreau pulled Andersen in Game 6 of the first-round series against the Dallas Stars after he allowed four goals on 12 shots, and Hiller earned the series-clinching win in relief.

Boudreau said he knows who the starter will be in Game 1, but he hasn't announced his decision.

Whoever is in net for the Ducks, the Kings expect a similar challenge to the one they faced in the first round.

"They're built pretty much the same way [as the Sharks]," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "They have big forwards, good goaltending and a good defense corps. We're obviously going to have to bring it like we did the last four games. We have to play our game and manage the puck well and not give them the opportunity of creating off our turnovers."

Who's hot: Kopitar and Justin Williams combined for eight goals and 13 points in the past four games for the Kings. … Ducks forwards Ryan Getlzaf and Corey Perry combined for eight points in the past two games.

Injury report: Los Angeles defenseman Willie Mitchell (undisclosed) missed Game 7 for the Kings and did not skate Friday. … Anaheim forwards Mathieu Perreault (lower body), who missed Game 6, and Matt Beleskey (lower body), who missed Games 2 through 5 but returned in Game 6, each appears ready to play. Defensemen Stephane Robidas (broken leg) is out for the season.

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