By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(9-6-3) host the Los Angeles Kings(9-9-1) tonight at Honda Center. This is the second meeting of the season. The Ducks took the first contest 4-0 at Staples Center back on November 1st. For highlights of that contest visit: Anaheim Blanks Los Angeles.
The Ducks are coming off back-to-back wins over the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils. Anaheim beat Edmonton 4-1 and then rallied after being down by two goals to beat New Jersey 3-2. Ryan Kesler scored the game-winning goal against the Devils. Since he has come to Anaheim, the Ducks are 20-0-1 at Honda Center when he scores a goal in a game.
The Ducks did recall Ondrej Kase yesterday. Joseph Cramarossa was injured in Thursday’s win over New Jersey when he collided with Rickard Rakell. The Ducks focused 3-on-3 play during yesterday’s practice. Visit here for more on yesterday’s practice: Practice Report: Ducks Recall Kase.
The key for the Ducks tonight is score three or more goals. This season when Anaheim scores at least three goals they are a perfect 9-0-0. Also all of Anaheim’s victories this season have come when they score at least three goals. The Kings did play last night, so if Anaheim can get a jump early on Los Angeles, then they improve their chances of earning two points tonight.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable)
Los Angeles Outlook
The Kings lost Jonathan Quick to injury early in the season and they recently lost their new captain Anze Kopitar. Kopitar sustained an upper-body injury on November 11th in a game against the Ottawa Senators. He took a hard hit from Ottawa’s Marc Methot and couldn’t finish the game. He has been listed as day-to-day. Since then, the Kings have been 2-1-1 without their captain. They lost to Winnipeg 3-2 in a shootout and to Colorado 4-1. They then went on to beat Edmonton 4-2 and New Jersey 4-2 last night.
Despite not having two of their best players, the Kings are still competing at a high level. Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson have led the scoring for the Kings, both with seven goals each. Tyler Toffoli, who usually plays well against Anaheim, has five goals on the season. One concern for Los Angeles this season has been their special teams. Their power play is ranked 28th in the league at 10.3% and the penalty kill is 21st at 80.6%. The Kings will look to play this game 5-on-5 as much as possible.
Peter Budaj (Unconfirmed)
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