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Preview: Kings at Ducks

Anaheim can clinch Pacific Division title with point or Edmonton loss; Los Angeles 'playing for a lot of pride'

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

KINGS (39-35-7) at DUCKS (45-23-13)

8:30 p.m. ET; SN1, PRIME, FS-W, NHL.TV

 

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings conclude their season and will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three years after winning titles in 2012 and 2014. "Even though we're really playing for nothing right now, we're still playing for a lot of pride, and we have a lot of pride playing for this organization," defenseman Drew Doughty said. Doughty scored 27 seconds into overtime in a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks after forward Dustin Brown had tied the score with 55 seconds left in regulation on Saturday. Centers Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter each had three assists. Kopitar said he expects a similar effort Sunday. "Nobody wants to lose in this locker room," he said. "Losing certainly puts a sour taste in your mouth." Coach Darryl Sutter said he plans to play all of his regulars. Carter matched his career high with three assists against the Blackhawks. His 32 goals and 66 points are the most he has scored in four full seasons with Los Angeles. "For a guy who's got 30-something goals, he sure doesn't get much credit for what he's done for this team this year," Sutter said.

 

Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks can clinch their fifth straight Pacific Division title by earning a point against the Kings, or if the Edmonton Oilers lose against the Vancouver Canucks in any fashion in a game scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the Kings and Ducks do. In either of those scenarios, Anaheim would face the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round. The Ducks have a 13-game point streak (10-0-3), which equals the third-longest in Anaheim history. "It's a feel-good story, but when the first game of the playoffs starts, it means nothing because everybody goes back to zero," coach Randy Carlyle said. "You feel better about your group, but there is going to be another intensity coming. Teams automatically become 20 percent better defensively, so it's going to be that much harder to score in the playoffs, to find space in the playoffs and compete to a higher level. All that is coming." The Ducks are guaranteed home-ice advantage in the first round against either the Flames or San Jose Sharks. "It's a bonus," forward Ryan Kesler said of home ice in the first round. "We said at the beginning of the year, all we wanted to do was make the playoffs. We did that a couple weeks ago. We're playing good hockey."

 

Kings projected lineup

Jarome Iginla -- Anze Kopitar -- Marian Gaborik

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempe -- Nic Dowd -- Jonny Brodzinski

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Dustin Brown

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Brayden McNabb -- Alex Martinez

Ben Bishop

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Jordan Nolan, Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff, Kevin Gravel

Injured: Matt Greene (back)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Logan Shaw -- Antoine Vermette -- Corey Perry

Chris Wagner -- Nate Thompson - Ondrej Kase

Shea Theodore -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll, Clayton Stoner, Korbinian Holzer, Jaycob Megna, Nick Ritchie

Injured: Cam Fowler (lower body)

 

Status report

Lindholm (upper body) and Thompson (upper body) practiced Saturday and appear set to return to the lineup. Lindholm missed the past three games and Thompson sat out in a 4-0 victory against Chicago on Thursday.

 

Who's hot

Quick is 7-5-0 with 24 goals allowed and two shutouts in his the past 13 games. ... Kopitar has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past six games. ... Getzlaf has four points (one goal, three assists) in a four-game point streak and 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) in his past 17 games. ... Eaves has four points (three goals, one assist) in a four-game point streak and seven points (six goals, one assist) in his past seven games. ... Kesler has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past eight games. ... Silfverberg has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past eight games. ... Gibson is 2-0-1 with four goals allowed and a shutout in three starts since his return from a lower-body injury.

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