Published November 20, 2014
Teemu Selanne scored his second goal of the game with 14:06 left in the third period, Dan Ellis made 23 saves in place of the injured Ray Emery, and the Anaheim Ducks clinched a playoff spot Friday night with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings — marking the first time that both Southern California teams will be in the playoffs in the same year.
It was Ellis' 10th start for the Ducks and first since March 20, when he stopped 37 shots in a 5-4 overtime win over Calgary. The four-year veteran was obtained from Tampa Bay in a trade Feb. 24 and started the Ducks' next eight games in the wake of Jonas Hiller's bout with vertigo, then lost the No. 1 job to Emery.
Ryan Smith scored his 22nd goal and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the Kings, who earned their second straight postseason berth Wednesday night with a 3-2 shootout win over Phoenix.
The Ducks and Kings have met 101 times in the regular season and numerous times in the preseason since the NHL expanded to Anaheim. But they had never before sold playoff tickets in the same year despite a spirited rivalry that began in 1993-94, when Los Angeles was coming off its only trip to the Stanley Cup finals and the expansion Ducks were siphoning off close to 20 percent of the Kings' season-ticket holders.
The Ducks are 14-5-0 since a season-worst five-game losing streak that included a 3-2 loss to the Kings in Anaheim.
Los Angeles opened the scoring at 11:22 of the first period when Ellis got tangled up with teammate Sheldon Brookbank in the crease after making the save on Dustin Brown, and Smyth converted the rebound. Selanne tied it at 9:55 of the second, beating Quick to the stick side on a rebound from about 15 feet after Luca Sbisa was thwarted on a one-timer from the left point.
Selanne put the Ducks ahead to stay with a 10-foot wrist shot from the right of the net that beat Quick to the glove side. Saku Koivu set up Selanne's 31st goal and 637th of his career with a sensational tape-to-tape pass while losing his balance and falling to the ice.
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.
The Ducks' 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. But the Kings shut them down again, and have held the them to just two goals and two assists in the first five meetings. Getzlaf missed the 3-2 loss to the Kings on Feb. 23 to be with his wife for the birth of his son.
The standing-room-only crowd of 17,587 gave the Ducks an average home attendance of 14,739 — and was just their fifth sellout all season at Honda Center. Three of them were against the Kings, one was for the home opener against Vancouver, and the other was against Pittsburgh when Sidney Crosby was healthy. The Kings, averaging a shade over 18,000 at the 18,118-seat Staples Center, will draw their 26th home sellout of the season and 18th in a row on Saturday.
NOTES: Of the 26 players who have played for the Ducks and Kings in the regular season, seven have appeared in the playoffs with both clubs. Lubomir Visnovsky, Andreas Lilja and Jason Blake of the Kings will get the opportunity next week to join that list, along with Dustin Penner of the Ducks. The others were Dan Bylsma, Sean O'Donnell, Warren Rychel, Tomas Sandstrom, Mathieu Schneider, Ken Baumgartner and Stu Grimson. O'Donnell and Penner were with the Ducks in 2007 when they won the Stanley Cup against Ottawa. Sandstrom and Rychel were with the Kings in 1993 when they got to the finals for the only time and lost to Montreal. ... The Kings completed their road schedule 21-17-3. The Ducks were 26-13-2 at home.