They paid tribute to his “class and charisma,” and the Kings sent Finnish icon Teemu Selanne of the Ducks off with a whimsical gift in a pregame ceremony honoring Selanne's career.
A standup paddleboard.
Selanne is not going off into the sunset on his board — where he can presumably hang with buddy and former teammate and avid surfer, Paul Kariya — just yet.
The Staples Center fans may not have seen the last of Selanne, who will be retiring after the season and did not play against the Kings on Saturday. After all, the Kings and Ducks could meet in the second round of the playoffs.
This finished as an appetizer for the playoffs after what had been a muted start. The Ducks won, 4-3, in the fourth round of a shootout Saturday at Staples Center, with Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen outdueling his Kings counterpart Jonathan Quick.
The pace had picked up in overtime and in the final five minutes of regulation as the Ducks and Kings traded goals in rapid succession in the third period. Anaheim's Matt Beleskey made it 3-2 at 15:13 and Anze Kopitar scored his second of the game just 1:35 later, making it 3-3.
For the Kings, it was their regular-season finale. Anaheim plays one more game, against Colorado, on Sunday at Honda Center.
Plenty was on the line for the Kings and the Ducks. Anaheim clinched first place in the Western Conference by simply getting to overtime and the Ducks will play the Dallas Stars in the first round of the playoffs.
"They're playing really well. We've got to be at the top of our game," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf about Dallas. "We're going to play a tough opponent. Anyone in the West is going to be tough to get through. We'll worry about that come tomorrow and mostly Monday.
"When you have an opportunity throughout a season — there's not that many — and we had an opportunity tonight and we grasped it and did the right thing and got our two points and got out of here. That was our main goal at the start of the season, to win the West and get in good position for the playoffs."
Also scoring for Anaheim were Nick Bonino in the first period and Devante Smith-Pelly in the second. Smith-Pelly also scored the deciding goal in the shootout.
Quick became, at least, the co-winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy.
The award goes to “the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it.” It has never been won by a Kings' goalie.
Boston had been the only real threat and the Bruins are tied with the Kings, having allowed 174 goals this season. Boston, by the way, finishes its regular season on Sunday. If the Bruins allow a goal, Quick wins the Jennings outright.
"I think it’s one of those awards that I think represents who we are as a group," Kings captain Dustin Brown said of the Jennings Trophy. "Obviously Quickie is a big part of that but we have always been on the fringe, I think, in the last three, four years, in the top five, six teams.
"...It’s one of those awards that probably doesn’t get a lot of media play, but it’s a big part of the success we have here."
Said Kings Coach Darryl Sutter: "One of our little goals coming into the season was to get better in that area and we knew coming into this game that nobody in our conference could catch us."
Sutter praised Kopitar's season-long effort.
"He's had a really good regular season and clearly the MVP of our team this year in the regular season," Sutter said. "He's played the last little bit like he's getting ready for the next step."
Returning to the lineup for the first time in four games was Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, who had been out of the lineup with an unspecified injury. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has an injured shoulder, and has been out since getting hurt in the first period at San Jose on April 3.
He said he will be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs against San Jose.
“It was just an opportunity to rest some bumps and bruises,” Regehr said. “We couldn't move up or down as a team with our playoff positioning. Really could do nothing that affected the opponent we were going to play, so it was a very good opportunity to have a little bit of rest and get as ready as possible.”
While San Jose poses a familiar postseason challenge for the Kings, Anaheim defenseman Stephane Robidas will go up against a Dallas team that traded him to the Ducks the day before the trade deadline in March.
"I have a lot of good friends, a lot of teammates, guys that stayed at my house last year and this year," Robidas said. "But it's a game and it's playoffs. I want to win and they want to win. At one point, you put friendship aside. Once a series is over, we'll be friends again. That's the way I see it.
"They know a lot about me. They know a lot about this team. I know a lot about that team on the other side. It's not going to be easy. We've just got to play like we can and play like we did the last three games. That's more like us.
"...I'm just going to play my game. I'm going to approach this series just like I would be playing the L.A. Kings or Chicago or San Jose. I can't go in there thinking, 'This is my friend.' ... It's not like that. I've played against good friends before and whenever I'm on the ice, you put aside friendship. I really want to win a Stanley Cup. That's my goal and they're standing in our way right now."
When: 5 p.m.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 710
Update: Teemu Selanne will play the final regular-season game of his career Sunday against Colorado. There is a movement spawned on Twitter by fans to give Selanne a standing ovation every shift in the third period. The campaign even has a motto: #thankyouteemu
Times columnist Helene Elliott contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times