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Ducks shoot for four wins in row vs. Kings

by Mike Battaglino

DUCKS (52-20-8) at KINGS (46-28-7)


Last 10: Anaheim 7-2-1; Los Angeles 6-3-1

Season series: The Anaheim Ducks have defeated the Los Angeles Kings three straight times after losing the first game. The Ducks have outscored the Kings 7-2 in the three wins.

Big story: Anaheim is competing with the Colorado Avalanche for the top seed in the Western Conference, which would give them home-ice advantage should they meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Ducks close the regular season Sunday at home against the Avalanche.

Team Scope:

Ducks: After a 2-4-2 stretch that tightened the Pacific Division race, Anaheim went 7-2-1 and clinched first place with a 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

Goalie John Gibson defeated the Sharks in his second NHL game. He, Jonas Hiller and Frederik Andersen each have at least two wins since March 23. Andersen will start Saturday.

"I've told all the goalies that it's a game-by-game situation. I told them who's starting tomorrow," coach Bruce Boudreau said to the Ducks website Friday without revealing the starter. "We'll re-evaluate after the game, and then we'll take it from there."

Andersen had a three-game win streak when he filled in April 4 after Hiller was pulled against the Nashville Predators. But Andersen had to leave the 5-2 loss when he was hit in the mask by a shot from Predators defenseman Shea Weber.

Andersen said he "felt pretty good" at practice Friday.

"It was more about getting him ready," Boudreau said. "The other guys have been practicing really hard and/or playing. Freddie's been sitting at home not doing a lot. I thought he needed a real good practice today, whether he's playing tomorrow or Sunday."

Forward Teemu Selanne will be a healthy scratch before playing his final NHL game Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Kings: Los Angeles, the third place team in the Pacific for much of the season, has followed a six-game win streak by going 2-3-1. The Kings will play the Sharks in the Western Conference First Round.

"I think our division, it's a tough division," coach Darryl Sutter told L.A. Kings Insider on Friday. "... There are two teams that could go out early that just as easy could win the Stanley Cup too."

Defenseman Drew Doughty (upper body) has missed the past three games but has been practicing since Monday.

"I wouldn't mind getting [a game in], but … it's not really, I guess, necessary, at the same time," Doughty said. "I'll be ready for the first game of the playoffs no matter what happens. Like I said, it's up to them, and I'm ready to go whenever."

Sutter said he does not plan to rest players Saturday.

"Well, when you have a roster in the NHL and a salary cap, you're not really in that position," he said.

Who's hot: Ducks forward Corey Perry has six goals in his past seven games, and his 43 this season are second in the NHL to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (51). Forward Ryan Getzlaf has 23 points in his past 21 games and his 87 points are second in the League to Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (103). Forward Patrick Maroon scored twice Wednesday, his first multigoal game in the NHL. Forward Matt Beleskey has four points in his past four games. … Kings forward Marian Gaborik had three points Thursday, has five in his past three games, and 15 in 18 games with Los Angeles. Forward Anze Kopitar has three points in his past two games and nine in eight. Defenseman Slava Voynov has four points in a three-game streak.

Injury report: Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (sprained MCL) played Wednesday for the first time since March 14. Forward Tim Jackman (hand surgery) is out. … Kings defensemen Robyn Regehr (undisclosed) has missed the past three games but will play.

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