Kings Vs. Ducks: Teemu Selanne's Two Goals Clinch Playoff Spot For Anaheim

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Kings Vs. Ducks: Selanne's Pair Pushes Ducks Into The Playoffs

Teemu Selanne dominated the home rink he has known for 11 seasons, scoring both of his club's goals in a 2-1 victory for the Anaheim Ducks over their rivals, the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night at the aforementioned Honda Center. The victory clinched a playoff spot for Anaheim, while the loss put the Kings' chances at home ice in doubt. For the first time in the three California teams' history, all three of them - Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose - will make the post-season. 

In the first, it was Ryan Smyth who broke the scoreless tie for the Kings. His goal came on a turn-over by Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman, who lost the puck to Jarret Stoll. Stoll threw a pass in front to Dustin Brown, who shot it, and goaltender Dan Ellis (playing for the injured Ray Emery and the not 100% Jonas Hiller) lost control of the rebound, when Smyth deposited it in at 11:22. It was Smyth's 22nd of the season, though only his third goal in 31 games.

Teemu Selanne got his first of the game with his 30th goal - and his 10th 30-goal season - to tie the game at 9:55 of the second period. It came on the rebound of a Luca Sbisa shot. Selanne picked a corner the way he has for so many years and tied the game. He has been the best player on the ice for Anaheim by a large margin. Selanne is now in sole possession of 27th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,339 points.

The Ducks largely controlled this game despite trailing for nearly half of it. They out-shot the Kings 28-24 and controlled much of the momentum throughout. The Kings mostly sturdy defense and he goaltending of Jonathan Quick were the only things keeping them in it. Except for a few short bursts and the Smyth goal, the Los Angeles offense lay dormant, as it has for much of the absence of the team's best player, Anze Kopitar. That said, when called upon, Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis was solid, being called upon for his first start since March 20th due to Ray Emery's injury and Jonas Hiller not being 100%. Quick made 26 saves, Ellis made 24. 

The Kings got two key power play chances in the third period but failed to score. Selanne took a somewhat controversial penalty for boarding at 3:18, but Dan Ellis made a couple of good saves to keep the Kings at bay. Toni Lydman went off for interference at 6:11, but again, the Ducks penalty kill was solid. The Kings are now six games without a power play goal. Los Angeles went 0-for-3 on the man advantage for the night, while the Ducks went 0-for-2. Kevin Westgarth and George Parros (two Princeton University graduates) had the game's only fight at 4:27 of the second period. This was a pretty physical game, though, as each team was throwing hits with reckless abandon.

Selanne gave the Ducks their first lead of the game at 5:54 of the third. Saku Koivu was headed across the middle of the ice, ending up on the left wing. He was hassled by a King, enough to take him down, but on his way he threw a ridiculous, Hail Mary of a cross-ice pass to Selanne, and the 40-year old made no mistake in burying it by Quick to make it 2-1 Ducks. Selanne now has seasons of 27, 27 and - so far - 31 goals in seasons at age 38, 39 and 40. In what may be his final regular season performance in Orange County, the Finnish Flash didn't disappoint. Was there any doubt that he would? 

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Kings Vs. Ducks: Teemu Selanne Ties It For Anaheim In Potential Clincher

On a goal by TeemuThe Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are tied at the end of the second period of their important match-up at Honda Center. The Ducks need a win to clinch a playoff spot. The Kings are looking to keep pace with the fourth seed, after the Nashville Predators reclaimed it following a 4-1 win over Columbus. A win would put Los Angeles back in the fourth seed, but the Ducks need a win to get in the post-season. The shots are 20-16 Anaheim. 

Selanne got his 30th goal - and his 10th 30-goal season - at 9:55 of the second period. It came on the rebound of a Luca Sbisa shot. Selanne picked a corner the way he has for so many years and tied the game. He has been the best player on the ice for Anaheim by a large margin. Selanne is now in sole possession of 27th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,339 points. 

The best Kings chance of the period came when Jarret Stoll hit the post a little more than 14 minutes in during the Kings' only power play. Mostly, they just sought to control the tempo that the Ducks had so clearly gotten more of. Their defense - along with goaltender Jonathan Quick - has been solely keeping them in this game. Meanwhile, Dan Ellis stabilized in the second, making some solid saves during that penalty kill. Quick has made 19 saves so far, while Ellis has made 15. 

Somewhat surprising for a game of this import, we saw our first fight in the second period. George Parros and Kevin Westgarth dropped the gloves at 2:59. Parros got in the better shots and would likely be declared the winner on a technicality, but much of it was a wrestling match. Interesting note: Both fighters are graduates of Princeton University.

The Ducks had one power play in the second period, their second of the game, on a slash by Brad Richardson at 10:32. Anaheim failed to convert. They are now 0-for-2 on the man advantage. The Kings got their first power play opportunity when Luca Sbisa got called for tripping at 14:16. They were unsuccessful. The two clubs went four-on-four at 4:27 of the period when Dustin Penner and Jarkko Ruutu both received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Ruutu later received a 10-minute misconduct following a verbal tussle with Drew Doughty. Ironically, the 10-minute penalty kept the Ducks from having to go 3-on-5. 

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Kings Vs. Ducks: Ryan Smyth Scores to Give Kings 1-0 Lead After the First Period

The Los Angeles Kings got a big goal from Ryan Smyth and lead the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 after one period of their Freeway Face-off at Honda Center. The Ducks need a victory to clinch a post-season berth, while the Kings have already clinched their slot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings need a win to stay and fourth place and continue their pursuit of home ice in the playoffs. They especially could use a win now that Nashville has won, taking over fourth seed. 

Smyth's goal came on a turn-over by Toni Lydman, who lost the puck to Jarret Stoll. Stoll threw a pass in front to Dustin Brown, who shot it, and goaltender Dan Ellis (playing for the injured Ray Emery and the not 100% Jonas Hiller) lost control of the rebound, when Smyth deposited it in at 11:22. It was Smyth's 22nd of the season, though only his third goal in 31 games. 

Ellis played well the rest of the period. He made a fantastic glove save on Wayne Simmonds towards the end of the frame that seemed almost a sure thing, keeping it at 1-0 for now. Letting the Kings get up by two goals would be almost certain doom the way that Los Angeles stifles on defense. This is Ellis' first start since March 20th against Calgary. He made six saves in the first. 

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick needed to be good in the first period, as the Ducks got the game's only power play, when Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty went off for holding at 7:27. Teemu Selanne had a couple of excellent chances during the man advantage, but was denied twice by Quick. In a bit of a quirky circumstance, the Finnish Flash broke his stick twice in the same power play. Selanne appeared a man possessed in the first, coming close a number of times to either getting or setting up a tying goal. He made eight saves in the first period.

The Ducks are not currently getting help from the scoreboard, as the Dallas Stars - whose loss of a point would clinch a playoff spot for Anaheim - are leading the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 after two periods. A win would get the Ducks in on their own accord, but so far, things have not gone their way. Despite controlling much of the play and chances, the Kings got the first goal and have played very well defensively. 

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