Anaheim Ducks (52-20-8, 112 pts) vs. Los Angeles Kings (46-28-7, 99 pts)
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM PST – Prime Ticket
Tonight at Staples Center the newly crowned Pacific Division champions the Anaheim Ducks will take on the Los Angeles Kings in their season finale. With playoff matchups already locked up there’s not much to play for tonight; however, any time the Ducks and Kings meet up you know it’s going to be a blood bath. Quite simply, there is no love lost between these two franchises.
The Ducks and Kings will both be participating in the playoffs this season and could meet each other in the second round. The Kings will take on the San Jose Sharks in Round 1 while the Ducks will likely take on the Dallas Stars. What this means is that we may be watching a preview of the second round playoff series tonight.
While the Kings and Ducks will likely rest some injured players tonight we should be able to see a competetive game and, hopefully, some bad blood brewing. There is no reason for the Kings and Ducks to not go full bore tonight. Both teams are desperate to get hot heading into the playoffs, especially the Kings who have lost three of their last four contests.
The biggest matchup tonight, as always, will be between Jonas Hiller and Jonathan Quick, who should be back in goal tonight. Quick is 4-1-0 with a 1.19 GAA and two shutouts in his last five at home. He’s 5-1-0 with a 1.63 GAA in his past six home matchups with Anaheim after making 18 saves on January 25th. Hiller, on the other hand, had gone 0-5-2 with a 3.25 GAA in L.A. before stopping 36 shots in a 3-0 win there in the January 25th matchup.
The Ducks have won three straight games in the series with the Kings and have the best record in the Western Conference and can clinch the top spot with wins in it’s next two games. The Kings have already clinched the 6th spot in the West.
Prediction: Kings 3 – Ducks 2
1st Star: Anze Kopitar
2nd Star: Justin Williams
3rd Star: Corey Perry