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Selanne ready for potential final game in Edmonton

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne could be playing his final game at Rexall Place on Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Even though the Ducks have two road games left against the Oilers this season, Selanne is not expected to be in the lineup when Anaheim returns to Edmonton on April 6.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has not dressed Selanne on back-to-back nights this season and it's expected the veteran wing will sit out the next game against the Oilers and instead play the following night against the Vancouver Canucks.

"I have a lot of memories here, especially the times that I was in Winnipeg," Selanne said. "We used to play the Oilers eight times a year. I've been in this building very often, it's always been a great building. First of all, the ice is the best in the League. It was a good rivalry between Winnipeg and Edmonton. It was a good time and good memories."

Selanne has 49 goals and 42 assists in 82 career games against the Oilers. Of the nine games Edmonton has left on its schedule this season, three are against the Ducks. The Oilers also play the Ducks in Anaheim on April 2.

"I can't believe he's still playing, it's unreal," Oilers left wing David Perron said. "He's had a tremendous career. Growing up, he was one of our favorite players that we would want to watch. It's pretty incredible to be able to play against him for the few years that I have. I don't know if it will be his last year or not, who knows with him? He's good enough that he could play a few more years."

Selanne, 43, announced he would be retiring at the end of the season after 22 years in the NHL.

Oilers coach Dallas Eakins was Selanne's teammate with the Winnipeg Jets and was on the ice when Selanne broke the record for most goals by a first-year player. Eakins caught Selanne's glove after the rookie threw it in the air and pretended to shoot it down in celebration of his 76th goal that season.

"For me that was almost like a Forest Gump moment, you know? What are you doing here? But you're in the moment," Eakins said. "I remember they stopped the game to honor the record and I was on one knee by the bench and Mike Lalor, who was a veteran defenseman, he just leaned into me and told me to take all of this in because it was never going to happen again.

"What a great season Teemu had that year, and what great seasons he's had since."

Selanne has 684 career regular-season goals going into the game against the Oilers. He has been honored in visiting arenas all season as he makes one last tour around the League.

"I think it's awesome, I think it's very classy," Selanne said. "It feels very good to see that respect all over the League. At the same time, it's very sad to be here one last time in some cities. But everything has to end at some time. But at the same time, I'm very happy and thankful that I'm able to play all these years and I have all these memories. It means a lot."

Goaltender Jonas Hiller will start for the Ducks against Edmonton. Goalie Ben Scrivens will start for the Oilers.

Here are the projected lineups for the Ducks and Oilers:


Nick Bonino - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Patrick Maroon - Mathieu PerreaultTeemu Selanne

Andrew Cogliano - Saku KoivuDaniel Winnik

Jakob SilfverbergRickard RakellMatt Beleskey

Stephane RobidasLuca Sbisa

Ben LovejoyHampus Lindholm

Francois BeaucheminSami Vatanen

Jonas Hiller

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Kyle Palmieri, Bryan Allen, Tim Jackman

Injured: Sheldon Souray (wrist), Cam Fowler (knee), Mark Fistric (leg)


Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Anton Lander - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Tyler Pitlick

Luke Gazdic - Ryan Smyth - Ryan Jones

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Martin Marincin - Anton Belov

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Ben Scrivens

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Mark Fraser, Philip Larsen

Injured: Nail Yakupov (ankle), Jesse Joensuu (ankle), Viktor Fasth (upper body).

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