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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 13th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (27-9-5) at Los Angeles Kings (23-14-4), 11 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks try to move closer to a Pacific Division title on Saturday night as they battle the rival Los Angeles Kings for the fourth and final time this regular season.
The Ducks lead the division with 59 points, nine ahead of the Kings with seven games to play for both clubs. The San Jose Sharks sit third in the Pacific with 49 pints and have eight games to go.
Anaheim is also just seven points behind the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks, but have played one more game.
The Ducks needed just a point on Wednesday versus the Colorado Avalanche to officially clinch a playoff spot, but instead suffered a 4-1 setback. However, they still claimed a postseason spot on Friday despite being idle due to the Detroit Red Wings' loss to the Blackhawks.
The Ducks yielded three goals in the second period against the Avs and only managed Teemu Selanne's goal in the frame. Jonas Hiller made 12 saves on 16 shots faced before being replaced at the start of the third by Viktor Fasth, who stopped all 12 shots he faced in relief.
"We had no push back for them today," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The lone good thing to come out of the game for the Ducks, who had won four of their previous five, was the captain Ryan Getzlaf made a successful return from a lower body injury that held him out of the previous three games.
However, defenseman Cam Fowler left early with an upper body ailment and his status for this game is unknown.
The Kings may have an impossible hill to climb to win the division, but the defending champions do sit fourth in the West and are seven points up on a trio of teams tied for ninth.
Los Angeles snapped a two-game slide with Thursday's shootout win over the Avalanche.
The Kings' trio of Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar were a perfect 3-for-3 in the shootout against Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, while Jonathan Quick made 26 saves through overtime and stopped 1-of-2 skaters in the shootout.
Carter and Mike Richards scored 1:47 apart in the first period, but Colorado battled back.
"The first (period) was good. We came out strong, outshot them in the first by quite a bit and sat back a little bit, which is not the best thing to do obviously and they came back," Kopitar said. "But at the end of the day, we got the two points and that's the most important thing for us."
Carter is tied for third in the NHL with 24 goals, while Richards has six points in his last five games. The Kings are 6-2-2 in their last 10.
The Kings have won six of their last nine versus the Ducks even though Anaheim won a 4-3 shootout decision at home last Sunday. Los Angeles has won four straight as the host in this series.
04/13 10:38:24 ET
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