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Sat, Apr 9, 2011 - 10:30 PM ET
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Ducks-Kings Preview

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For the first time, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will both be in the playoffs. It could be a short stay for the loser of Saturday night's regular-season finale at Staples Center.

A loss would open the possibility of either club finishing with the No. 8 seed, and the Kings and Ducks should be inspired to avoid that fate when they complete a home-and-home set.

Anaheim (46-30-5) clinched its fifth playoff spot in six seasons with a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles (46-29-6) on Friday at the Honda Center. The Kings gained their second straight berth with Wednesday's 3-2 shootout victory over Phoenix.

These teams have met 101 times in the regular season since the NHL expanded to Anaheim in 1993-94, creating a spirited rivalry between these Southern California and Pacific Division rivals.

That level of intensity was evident Friday as Teemu Selanne delighted the sellout crowd with two goals to help the Ducks rally after Ryan Smyth put the Kings ahead in the first period.

"I'm proud of both teams," Selanne said. "We need this. Obviously for hockey here in Southern California, this is going to be a huge boost for both franchises. So I'm very happy about this situation."

With 98 points, the Kings are in sixth place in the Western Conference while the Ducks have 97 and are tied for seventh with defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago. The No. 8 seed will face Presidents' Trophy winner Vancouver in the first round.

Saturday's winner is guaranteed at worst the No. 6 seed. The loser will have to hope the Blackhawks lose at home Sunday to Detroit to avoid finishing eighth.

Goals have been hard to come by in this season series, with each team scoring nine. The Ducks have won three of five despite the problems their top line has had against the Kings.

Anaheim's marquee line of Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and 50-goal scorer Corey Perry had combined for 26 goals and 69 total points over the previous 14 games before coming up empty Friday. The Kings have held them to just two goals and two assists in the first five meetings.

Selanne has been tougher to handle by himself with five points in the season series. With 80 points in 72 games, Selanne will join Gordie Howe and Johnny Bucyk as the only players in NHL history to play an entire season at age 40 or older with more points than games played.

Howe had 103 points in 76 games with Detroit in 1968-69, Bucyk 83 points in 77 games with Boston in 1975-76.

"All I know is that we're awful lucky to have Teemu, and again he delivered in a clutch situation," coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's done that for this organization both on and off the ice, and he continues to deliver.

"It's amazing. When you look at him, you don't think he's 40 years old the way he moves out there."

Dustin Brown's four points in the season series lead the way for the Kings, who have won five straight at home. Los Angeles is 5-0-3 in its last eight at home against Anaheim.

Tagged: Kings, Ducks, Ryan Smyth, Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan

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