If it is the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Ducks have qualified, well then, it almost seems automatic that they will face the Detroit Red Wings. They will meet in the opening round of the playoffs with the first game possibly on Tuesday at Honda Center in Anaheim.
This is the sixth time they've met in the playoffs. The two times the Ducks defeated Detroit in the playoffs (2003 and 2007) were also the two times they reached the Stanley Cup Final, winning in 2007.
Detroit made it suspenseful, finally qualifying for the playoffs on Saturday night with a 3-0 victory at Dallas. The Red Wings kept their amazing playoff streak intact, making it 22 consecutive years. They won their final four games of the season, outscoring the opposition, 15-3.
Anaheim did not make the playoffs last season and went out in the opening round in 2011 -- a rare non-Detroit playoff series -- by losing to Nashville.
The entire playoff schedule is not expected to be released by the NHL until Sunday. It is likely that Game 1 will be on Tuesday and Game 2 on Thursday. Wednesday is out because The Killers have a concert at Honda Center.
Ducks to face Red Wings in Stanley Cup playoffs
Ducks winger Bobby Ryan squares off with Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith when the teams last met in March. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press / March 22, 2013)