The Anaheim Ducks' home may be only about 30 miles from the Los Angeles Kings', but the teams are far apart in the Western Conference standings.
The Ducks look to increase their Pacific Division lead and extend a four-game road winning streak at Staples Center against the last-place Kings in the opener of a home-and-home series Saturday night.
Anaheim (34-16-8) is in third place in the Western Conference behind Nashville and Detroit, while Los Angeles (19-31-9) continues to linger in last place with 47 points. The Ducks have won their last four visits to Staples Center since a 3-2 shootout defeat on Jan. 23, 2006.
The Kings ended a seven-game overall losing streak to Anaheim in the last meeting between these teams, 3-2 on Dec. 3 at the Honda Center, where this home-and-home will conclude Sunday. Alexander Frolov had two goals for Los Angeles in the Dec. 3 matchup.
On Thursday night, Anaheim snapped a three-game losing streak, rallying from three goals down to defeat Phoenix 5-4 in overtime. Teemu Selanne scored twice including the game-winner at 1:53 of the extra session.
"Hopefully this is a turning point for us," said Selanne, whose team had been just 5-11-1 since Dec. 29. "I almost forgot how good it feels to win a game."
Selanne, who also had an assist, moved past New York Islanders great Bryan Trottier into sole possession of 27th place on the NHL's all-time goals list.
He has six goals and 13 points in his last seven games against Los Angeles.
Los Angeles returns home after a 2-1-2 road trip, but has lost five straight at Staples Center since a 4-2 victory over Detroit on Jan. 6. The Kings have scored just eight goals during that skid, going 0-for-27 on the power play.
Los Angeles ended its trip with its only loss in regulation, 2-1 to Carolina on Tuesday night.
Despite the result, Sean Burke was solid again in goal for Los Angeles, stopping 27 shots. He is 3-3-2 with a 2.16 goals-against average in nine games since joining the Kings off waivers from Tampa Bay on Jan. 18.
The 40-year-old goaltender is also 2-1-2 with a 1.57 GAA in five games this month.
"This organization has shown confidence in me, playing me almost every night and I know a lot of these guys and have a lot of respect for these guys," Burke told the Kings' official Web site. "I think we have played tremendous and have had a chance to win almost every single night."
Los Angeles signed center Derek Armstrong to a two-year contract extension Wednesday. He has nine goals, a career-high 30 assists and 50 penalty minutes in 54 games this season.
Armstrong leads the team with a plus-16 rating, and has six points in his last five games.
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