Battlefield: Anaheim

Photo:Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times

Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(30-19-10) continue their homestand against the Los Angeles Kings (28-25-4). The Ducks have split the Freeway Face-Off series so far after two contests.

Anaheim Outlook:

The Ducks look to rebound tonight against Los Angeles after a disappointing effort against the Florida Panthers. Ryan Kesler was reunited with Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg in the third period of that game and expected to play together again tonight. Antoine Vermette has been able to practice with the team while his appeal for his suspension is pending. There have been reports it might be reduced from 10 to 5 games, but there hasn’t been an official announcement. Rickard Rakell leads the team with 22 goals. Ryan Kesler is second in scoring with 19 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 17 goals. Andrew Cogliano has 11. Anaheim is in third place in the Pacific Division.

Keys To The Game

The Ducks have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and have struggled with the power play going 3 for 26 during that time span. Randy Carlyle has focused on the special teams for the past few practices. Anaheim has been inconsistent in the recent weeks due to poor passing, turnovers, and a weak forecheck. Maybe playing your arch rival will give the Ducks something extra to get things going tonight.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup

Ondrej Kase – Ryan Getzlaf – Logan Shaw
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Rickard Rakell – Corey Perry
Joseph CramarossaNate Thompson – Jared Boll / Corey Tropp

Cam Fowler – Brandon Montour
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa

In Net
John Gibson 22-15-8, GAA 2.32, SV% .920 (Probable)

Los Angeles Outlook:

The Kings have lost four of their last five games, but they are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot. They are just two points behind Nashville and Calgary for a wild card spot. Jonathan Quick has practiced with the team in full gear recently, but there is no timetable for his return. Peter Budaj has played a majority of the season in Quick’s absence and he has done decent with 26 wins in 48 starts. Jeff Carter leads the team with 29 goals. Tanner Pearson has 19. Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli each have nine goals.

Keys To The Game

The Kings average just over 30 shots per game and allow just over 25 against, which is the lowest in the league. Their game plan has been to work the forecheck and get the puck on net from any angle. The Kings are good at limiting other teams chances on offense by getting into passing lanes, blocking shots, and creating turnovers. Tonight they will look to limit Anaheim’s chances while counter attacking on mistakes by the Ducks.

Los Angeles’ Projected Lineup

Adrian Kempe – Anze Kopitar – Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson – Jeff Carter – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Nic Dowd – Marian Gaborik
Dwight King – Nick Shore – Trevor Lewis

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty
Jake MuzzinAlec Martinez
Brayden McNabbPaul Ladue

In Net
Peter Budaj, 26-18-3, GAA 2.17, SV% .915 (Probable)

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February 19th, 2017