By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(45-23-13) final game of the season is against their cross-town rival the Los Angeles Kings(39-25-7). The Ducks are 2-2-0 in the season series against the Kings.
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It all comes down to the final game of the season to determine whether the Ducks will win the Pacific Division or not. If the Ducks are able to get at least one point tonight, then they will clinch the Division title regardless what the Oilers do tonight. If the Ducks lose in regulation and the Oilers win in any fashion, then Edmonton will win the Division title. The Oilers own all the tie breakers over the Ducks. With the Division title on the line, it’s unclear if Randy Carlyle will rest any players tonight.
The Ducks could get back Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson, and Clayton Stoner tonight as they all practiced yesterday. Anaheim will be without Nick Ritchie who was suspended two games for his punch on Mark Giordano. Anaheim will also be without Cam Fowler for a few weeks. He was seen this past weekend walking in a brace, but his exact return is unknown.
Keys To The Game
The key for the Ducks tonight is to not get into too much after the whistle activity. It would be good for the Ducks to beat the Kings heading into the playoffs, but with some players already banged up, the Ducks need to play smart tonight. Overall the Ducks have played much better working the forecheck and scoring on the power play. Tonight they need to play their game with the playoffs around the corner.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
Jonathan Bernier 20-7-4, GAA 2.48, SV% .917 (Unconfirmed)
Los Angeles Outlook:
The Kings are out of the playoffs and will be playing the role of spoiler tonight. If they can beat the Ducks, then it will open the door for the Oilers to win the Pacific Division title. The Kings are also playing for pride especially against their cross-town rivals.
Keys To The Game
Their game plan has been to work the forecheck and get the puck on net from any angle. The Kings are good at limiting other teams chances on offense by getting into passing lanes, blocking shots, and creating turnovers. Tonight they will look to limit Anaheim’s chances while counter attacking on mistakes by the Ducks.
Los Angeles’ Projected Lineup
Ben Bishop, 2-3-2, GAA 2.49, SV% .900 (Unconfirmed)
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April 9th, 2017