The Anaheim Ducks' most recent bid for a three-game winning streak ended with a shootout loss to their most bitter rivals.
On Thursday night, the Pacific Division leaders will try again to win three straight for the first time since mid-December when they meet the Los Angeles Kings - playing their first game after dealing longtime captain Mattias Norstrom.
Despite failing to string together three straight wins since a five-game run from Dec. 6-13, Anaheim (37-17-10) still has a five-point lead over second-place Dallas in the Pacific. The Stars, though, have two games in hand.
The Ducks won their second straight, beating San Jose 3-2 on Monday. Teemu Selanne scored the tie-breaking goal midway through the third period during which goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 of his 40 saves for his first win since Jan. 11.
"We were lucky to get this one at all. You always begin to think there's a chance that you're going to get a chance to score. You just wait for that opportunity," said Selanne, who leads the Ducks with 38 goals and 75 points.
In leading the Ducks to a 4-1-1 record against the Kings in 2006-07, Selanne has continued his career-long dominance over them. With four goals and six assists this season, Selanne has 39 goals and 53 assists in 73 games versus Los Angeles. His assist total and 92 career points against the Kings (21-32-10) are the most he's had against any opposing team.
Selanne set a franchise record with his 301st goal in an Anaheim uniform and added two assists, but the Ducks lost 4-3 in a shootout Feb. 18 in the most recent matchup with their Southern California rivals.
The Ducks have won five straight trips to Staples Center and hold an 8-1-1 advantage in the last 10 overall meetings. All six games this season have been decided by one goal including three shootouts.
Los Angeles snapped a season-high seven-game home-losing streak with a 6-5 shootout victory over Colorado on Saturday. Former Avs defenseman Rob Blake scored with 4 seconds left in regulation and Dustin Brown had the deciding goal in the shootout.
Despite the victory, the Kings are last in the Western Conference with 52 points and will likely miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season. That has led to a series of moves by general manager Dean Lombardi to rebuild.
Before the deadline, Los Angeles traded Norstrom and right wing Konstantin Pushkarev with three draft picks to Dallas for defenseman Jaroslav Modry and two future selections. Norstrom was the Kings' career leader in games played among defensemen with 780 and had been its captain since 2001-02.
"Like with most trades, this was a very difficult decision to make," Lombardi said. "Matty has been a tremendous player for this club for a number of a years and he has been a very respected captain as well. The ability, however, to get two high draft picks will be of great benefit for our organization as we move forward and help build our reserve list and team."
Modry had 10 points and 32 penalty minutes in 57 games for the Stars and is back for his second stint with the Kings. He played for Los Angeles from 1995-2004, recording single-season career-highs of 38 assists and 42 points in 2001-02 when he made his only All-Star appearance.
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