The surprising Anaheim Ducks have another surprise in store Thursday for the Vancouver Canucks: a lineup minus Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.

Coach Bruce Boudreau is opting to rest his Finnish stars in a nod to Father Time. Selanne is 42 and Koivu 38 so they'll be watching from the press box as the Ducks and Canucks, both with division titles clinched, play for points that don't matter.

Even Selanne, who loves suiting up, doesn't mind wearing his dress suit for this one. It will be his second 'rest' of the season and the first for Koivu. Selanne also sat out last Friday in Calgary.

“Normally I don't like to take many days off but we haven't been in this situation very often,” said the Finnish Flash, scorer of 674 goals and 1,429 points. “The coach has been talking like a month already to please take some games off because the schedule is what it is. Usually you have to be really, really hurt before you're not playing so it's kind of weird even thinking you can have a night off from a game.

“But I think it's going to be good. I'm more than happy to take this game off and play the last game and then be ready for the playoffs.”

Selanne conceded the post-lockout truncated season has been tough on his aging body. He's managed 11 goals and 23 points in 45 games and is a team-worst minus-9, an indication he may finally be slowing down after so many wonderful seasons.

“I have never been through this kind of schedule before,” Selanne said. “It has been something, especially at this age. There have been a lot of nights when you realize you have nothing left. There is not enough time for recovering. It's almost impossible for younger guys to recover and, especially for older guys, it's brutal.”

The Ducks have had a remarkable season nonetheless. They opened Jan. 19 with a resounding 7-3 victory over the Canucks and rocketed to the top of the Pacific Division on the strength of a 22-3-4 run. The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks figured to be the class of the Pacific, not the Ducks.

Boudreau has admittedly been impressed with the performance of his skaters. They'll enter the playoffs as the Western Conference's No. 2 seed, behind only the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Well, I mean, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a little bit surprised,” responded Boudreau. “There were too many unknowns to me. We didn't know how Viktor Fasth (second goalie) was going to be. I didn't know the guys we signed how good they would be. I didn't have a knowledgeable history with Daniel Winnik and Sheldon Souray. We knew we were going to have to bring in some American League guys to fill out our roster.

“I always believed we had a good team," he added, "but I just didn't know if we were a second-in-the-conference type of team.”