Freeway Face-Off: Ducks Visit Kings

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(32-20-10) hit the freeway to visit the Los Angeles Kings(29-27-4). The Ducks are 2-1-0 in the season series against the Kings.

Anaheim Outlook:

The Ducks are coming off a wild win against the Boston Bruins. The Bruins took the early lead 1-0, but the Ducks battled back and the teams were tied at three last in the third period. Rickard Rakell scored the eventual game-winner with just over two minutes to go. Nic Kerdiles finally made his debut for Anaheim. He played just over 11 minutes and was a +1. Jonathan Bernier started in net because John Gibson had a lower-body injury. Gibson was placed on the injured reserve list yesterday, so it’s likely Bernier could start again today. Rickard Rakell leads the team with 24 goals. Ryan Kesler is second in scoring with 19 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 17 goals. Andrew Cogliano has 13. Anaheim is tied for second place in the Pacific Division with the Edmonton Oilers in terms of points.

Trade/Roster Moves

The Ducks acquired Patrick Eaves yesterday from Dallas for a conditional 2017 second round pick. If the Ducks advance to the conference final this postseason and Eaves plays more than 50% of the game in the first two rounds, then the conditional pick becomes a first round selection. Eaves has 21 goals this season and 11 have come on the power-play. Bob Murray is hopefully Eaves can help the Ducks with scoring while even strength and on the power play. Eaves might be available for today’s game. If plays he might line up on the Ryan Getzlaf or Rickard Rakell line. The Ducks sent Nic Kerdiles back to San Diego yesterday. Brandon Montour was also sent down today.

Keys To The Game

The Ducks edged the Kings in their recent meeting 1-0. Anaheim will need to create opportunities like they did against Boston if they want to score more than one goal against Los Angeles. The Ducks power play has slipped in recent weeks and is at 19.5% efficiency, which is good for 14th in the league. The penalty still ranks high at 84.7%, which is tied for 4th best in the league. The Ducks do need to avoid taking too many penalties so they can get in a rhythm on offense.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup

Nick Ritchie – Ryan Getzlaf – Ondrej Kase
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Patrick Eaves – Rickard Rakell – Corey Perry
Logan ShawNate ThompsonJared Boll

Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Korbinian Holzer – Kevin Bieksa

In Net
Jonathan Bernier 9-5-2, GAA 2.93, SV% .900 (Confirmed)

Los Angeles Outlook:

The Kings continue to be on the outside looking in for the playoff race. They currently have 62 points and are four points out of the final playoff spot. Since their last meeting against Anaheim, they beat Colorado 2-1 and lost to Boston 4-1. Jeff Carter leads the team with 29 goals. Tanner Pearson has 19. Tyler Toffoli has 10 goals and Dustin Brown has nine.

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

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

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty
Jake MuzzinAlec Martinez
Brayden McNabbPaul Ladue

In Net
Jonathan Quick, 0-0-0, GAA 3.00, SV% .933 (Confirmed)

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February 24th, 2017