Los Angeles Hockey: Stanley Cup playoffs

Kings/Ducks: Playoff schedule announced

April, 10, 2011
The Kings will open the Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday in San Jose, the day after the Ducks host Nashville, the NHL announced tonight.

The Kings, which finished seventh in the Western Conference standings, will play Game 2 of the best-of-seven series in San Jose on Saturday night. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Games 3 and 4 will be played on Tuesday and Thursday at Staples Center. Those games are set to begin at 7:30.

The Ducks finished fourth in the West and earned home ice for the first round. Following the opener Wednesday, the Ducks will play Game 2 on Friday at Honda Center, also at 7:30 p.m. The Ducks then travel to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Wednesday.

The full schedules are listed here.

First-round opponents set for Kings, Ducks

April, 10, 2011
On the final day of the regular season, the Kings and Ducks finally learned who they will play in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Detroit held on Sunday morning to defeat Chicago, 4-3, keeping the Kings in seventh place in the Western Conference. They will open the postseason at San Jose either Wednesday or Thursday.

The playoff schedule will be announced later tonight.

The Ducks clinched fourth place Saturday night with a 3-1 victory against the Kings, giving them home-ice advantage in the first round. They will host the Nashville Predators.

With the loss by the defending champion Blackhawks, the door is open for ninth-place Dallas to bump them from the playoffs with a victory in regulation or overtime tonight in Minnesota, the final game of the regular season.

Check back later for more playoff previews.

Ducks clinch fourth spot in West

April, 9, 2011
LOS ANGELES — The Kings entered the final weekend of the regular season in control of their destiny. With two wins against the Ducks, they could claim home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Ducks had other thoughts, pulling the ice from under Los Angeles by winning for the second consecutive night, 3-1.

Coupled with Nashville’s loss to St. Louis earlier Saturday and San Jose’s victory over Phoenix about 10 minutes prior, the Ducks clinched fourth place in the Western Conference standings, giving them home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, beginning Wednesday or Thursday at Honda Center.

The Kings, meanwhile, can finish no higher than seventh. That’s if the Detroit Red Wings can beat Chicago on Sunday morning. In that event, the Kings would open the playoffs in San Jose. If the Blackhawks win, the Kings would drop into eighth and open the playoffs at top-seeded Vancouver for the second consecutive postseason.

With the struggles the Kings are having offensively, scoring 12 goals in the last seven games, that could result in a quick series.

The Ducks meanwhile got a strong performance from its most unsteady area, in goal. Dan Ellis starting in place of the sidelined Jonas Hiller (vertigo) and Ray Emery (lower body), stopped 40 shots.

The final minutes were brawl-filled as Sheldon Brookbank bloodied the face of Kings rookie Kyle Clifford and 40-year-old Ducks forward Teemu Selanne even got into the act, throwing blows with Brad Richardson for one of the few times in his career.

More to come from the locker rooms.