December 1, 2009 10:03 am

Finally, the rivalry

The Kings and Ducks meet tonight in the first of six games between the crosstown rivals. This is the deepest into the season the teams have gone without playing each other since the 2003-04 season, when they didn’t play for the first time until Jan. 7, 2004. Statistically, at least, the Kings have been better than the Ducks 5-on-5 this season, but the Ducks have better special-teams numbers. Here’s what Terry Murray said about the resumption of the rivalry…

MURRAY: “Anaheim is a good hockey club. They’ve got leaders on that team, with Selanne playing and scoring big-time against Chicago the other night. Niedermayer, to me, is a key guy that controls the pace of the game. He elevates it, he slows it down, he buys time, he does all the things that a veteran, premier defenseman should do, and he’s been doing that for his whole career, basically. So it’s always tough.

“They’re focused right now. They’re playing a very good hockey game and it’s a fun rivalry. I think it gets heated up. We get pretty intense and battle pretty hard, as two rivals, and those are exciting games to be a part of.”

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