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Kings and Ducks renew rivalry

by John Kreiser

KINGS (2-2-2) at DUCKS (4-1-1)


Season series: The Southern California rivals play the first of four games this season. The Kings dominated their suburban rival last season, winning five of six meetings -- including two of three in Anaheim.

Big story: The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings continue to struggle to score -- they're averaging just two goals a game. The Ducks have nine points in their first six games, as well as some hard feelings after losing five times to L.A. last season

Team Scope:

Kings: The Kings-Ducks rivalry doesn't get the kind of attention that more historic pairings such as Bruins-Canadiens do. Part of the problem is that the teams generally haven't been good at the same time.

“There’s only a rivalry if both teams are fighting for the same spot," Kings coach Darryl Sutter told the team's website. "One team had a tough year last year. One team was trying to make the playoffs. I’m not into that rivalry stuff unless they’re two top teams that are battling for a spot."

One change after Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to Nashville could be the return of forward Dustin Penner, who was playing on a line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter at Friday's practice.

Ducks: Kyle Palmieri had a 22nd birthday he'll never forget, thanks to Teemu Selanne. The Ducks' ageless wonder, two decades older than his young linemate, set up the birthday boy for a pair of goals as Anaheim beat Minnesota 3-1 on Friday night.

The line of Palmieri, Selanne and Bobby Ryan generated all three Anaheim goals.

"Our line came to work tonight, and we were fortunate to get some offensive scoring chances," Palmieri said. "I think coach Boudreau stressed that we were good in our own d-zone, and I think we were great tonight. We played a full 200-foot game which translated into a couple of goals for our line."

Who's hot: Carter (3) and Anze Kopitar (2) are the only Kings with more than one goal. … Selanne assisted on all three goals Friday night and leads the Ducks in points with eight. Viktor Fasth overcame a bad goal early in the game to get the win -- becoming the first goaltender in franchise history to win his first two starts.

Injury report: Los Angeles is missing defensemen Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene, who's out for the season with a back injury. … The Ducks are healthy.

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