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Ducks shuffle lines for Game 7 against Kings

by Curtis Zupke

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."

There was a lot of attention focused on Selanne, 43, who could play his final game Friday. Selanne downplayed it, though. He didn't speak to reporters Thursday because he didn't want that subplot take away from the team.

"I didn't want anybody to start thinking about some player's last game," he said Friday. "It's not about that. All the distractions shouldn't be here. The focus is going to be this game and only this game."

Selanne said there won't be any special guests in attendance and joked when asked if former linemate Paul Kariya would come out like he did for the regular-season finale.

"That was a miracle," Selanne said. "I don't want to try and do that twice."

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell skated, but coach Darryl Sutter said he's not an option. Mitchell hasn't played since Game 6 of the first round against the San Jose Sharks, when he sustained a lower-body injury blocking a shot.

Los Angeles otherwise went about its business like a team that is 5-0 in elimination games this season and has a wealth of individual and team success in past Game 7s. Left wing Marian Gaborik, right wing Justin Williams, center Dustin Brown, center Jeff Carter, center Mike Richards, defenseman Drew Doughty and center Anze Kopitar are a combined 24-0 in Game 7s.

Center Jarret Stoll agreed with the notion there is more pressure on the home team.

"They lost a Game 7 last year at home here," Stoll said. "I think you're in front of your home fans, you're probably supposed to win … they finished 16 points ahead of us [in the regular season], which is a pretty remarkable season. I guess pressure's on, but we just want to come out and worry about ourselves."

Boudreau said he and his coaching staff took note that other teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season have come out tentative in Game 7s. The Ducks did not have a good start in their Game 7 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of last year's playoffs.

With no other series going on the hockey world will be focused on this game, and each side is embracing the stage.

Boudreau half-jokingly offered his script for the first state title game.

"I think the whole southern part of the state is in this," Boudreau said. "When you're drawing up rivalries and when you're [thinking], 'Gee, I wish the Kings would play the Ducks in a series,' you want a seven-game series, with the home team winning. I think that's the best way to have it."

Here are the projected lineups:


Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Trevor Lewis - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams

Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Jeff Schultz - Slava Voynov

Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Colin Fraser, Nick Shore, Scott Sabourin, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Jordan Weal, Colin Miller, Andy Andreoff, Andrew Campbell, Derek Forbort

Injured: Robyn Regehr (undisclosed), Willie Mitchell (undisclosed)


Devante Smith-Pelly - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Jakob Silfverberg

Daniel Winnik - Mathieu Perreault - Teemu Selanne

Patrick Maroon - Nick Bonino - Kyle Palmieri

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Bryan Allen - Sami Vatanen

John Gibson

Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Luca Sbisa, Mark Fistric, Matt Beleskey, Rickard Rakell, Igor Bobkov

Injured: Matt Beleskey (lower body), Frederik Andersen (lower body), Tim Jackman (hand), Stephane Robidas (leg)

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