The Anaheim Ducks still remain one of the top teams in the Western Conference despite not having won three straight games in more than two months.
The Pacific Division-leading Ducks will have a chance to change that and continue their strong play over the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Sunday in the finale of a home-and-home series.
Anaheim (35-16-8), which holds the No. 2 seed in the West, hasn’t had a three-game winning streak since a season high-tying five-game run from Dec. 6-13. That can change with a win Sunday against Los Angeles (19-31-10), which lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Ducks on Saturday.
Corey Perry beat the Kings’ Mathieu Garon for the game-winner. Teemu Selanne scored his NHL-leading 19th power-play goal and 35th of the season plus had an assist as the Ducks won back-to-back games after losing 13 of their previous 19 games.
“Tomorrow we will have the same game plan—try to get on them early,” said Perry.
The Ducks won in a shootout for the third time in nine tries and second over the Kings. Anaheim is 4-1-0 against Los Angeles this season.
Selanne has five points in his last two games after being held scoreless in his previous two. He has three goals, all on the power play, and four assists in five games against Los Angeles this season.
“It’s always fun to play against those guys,” Selanne said. “They work hard, they have a lot of great young players and their defense is really good, too. I’m shocked they’re so down in the standings because I really believe they have a better team.”
Sunday will mark the second time this season the two Southern California rivals will play each other on consecutive nights. Each won on the other’s home ice in games on Dec. 2-3.
Los Angeles earned a point Saturday giving it a conference-low 48. The Kings have lost 14 of their last 17.
“We want to win,” Kings coach Marc Crawford said. “You can never be happy if you don’t get two points. In the shootout, if we’d have shown a bit more finish on any of those shots we could have won.
“It was a spirited game. It’s going to be more of the same tomorrow.”
Alexander Frolov scored his team-leading 31st goal on the power play in the first period and rookie star Anze Kopitar tied the game with 5:14 to play in regulation. Kopitar leads all first-year players with 60 games played, but is second with 52 points—13 behind Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin.
Frolov, who is having a career year in his fourth NHL season, has scored a goal in three of his last four games. He’s had three in his last two against Anaheim.