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Kings look to keep division hopes alive vs. Ducks

by Brian Hunter

KINGS (22-13-3) at DUCKS (25-8-5)


Last 10: Los Angeles 6-3-1; Anaheim 4-5-1

Season series: Third of four meetings between these Pacific Division rivals. The home team has won each of the first two matchups. Dustin Brown leads the Kings with three goals, while Nick Bonino also has three for the Ducks.

Big story: Each team has 10 games remaining in the regular season and it's not outside the realm of possibility that the Kings could catch the Ducks for the Pacific crown if they pick up regulation wins both Sunday and in the final meeting April 13 in Los Angeles.

Team Scope:

Kings: Picked up by Los Angeles en route to its Stanley Cup championship last season, Jeff Carter continues to pay dividends as he's developed into one of the NHL's top goal scorers. Carter's 22nd of the season -- fourth in the League behind Steven Stamkos, Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares -- was one of two power-play goals the Kings scored in Saturday afternoon's 4-1 win over the Oilers. Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner who's had an up-and-down season, turned in a sound effort with 23 saves.

"At this point in the season, you take a peek (at the standings) once in a while," forward Anze Kopitar said. "The way it is right now, every time you win a game, you move up, and when you lose, you move back down. … We just have to keep going."

Ducks: This is the fourth consecutive game within the division for Anaheim, but the first against a team other than Dallas. The Ducks captured the first two of their three-game mini-series with the Stars last week, but with all the scoring coming in the first period of Friday's finale, they came out on the losing end of a 3-1 final. Andrew Cogliano lit the lamp just 18 seconds after the Stars opened the scoring, but a shorthanded goal given up to Eric Nystrom moments later turned out to be decisive.

"We didn't help ourselves, but that was (Dallas') best effort," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We knew if they scored the first goal and had a lead coming out of the first period, they were going to be very tough. It seemed like after we tied it up, for about 10 minutes we fell apart and started watching them pass the puck."

Who's hot: Carter has goals in four of his past five games for the Kings. Justin Williams' five-game goal streak ended Saturday, but he picked up an assist for a six-game point streak. … Cogliano has goals in consecutive games for the Ducks.

Injury report: Los Angeles forward Dustin Penner (lower body) is on injured reserve. … Bonino (lower body) is on injured reserve for Anaheim, while goalie Jonas Hiller (illness) and forward Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) are day-to-day.

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