Season series: Third of six meetings between these Pacific Division rivals. The Kings swept a home-and-home last month, getting a Justin Williams goal in the seventh round of the shootout for a 2-1 win at Staples Center on Nov. 16 and a pair of scores from Mike Richards the following night in a 5-3 victory at Honda Center.
Big story: Bruce Boudreau is learning he's going to have his work cut out for him in Anaheim. The Capitals-turned-Ducks coach has watched his team jump out to early multi-goal leads in each of his first two games, but come away without two points on each occasion. The Ducks have fallen to 29th in the overall NHL standings, with the Blue Jackets now two points behind.
Kings: Five of the last six games Los Angeles has played have been decided by a single goal, including Saturday's 2-1 defeat to visiting Montreal. Dustin Penner's power-play goal in the second period cut the Kings' deficit in half, but that was the only support they managed for Jonathan Bernier, who made 25 saves in his fifth start of the season. Jonathan Quick, who has been a workhorse in net, was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week on Monday.
"He's been awesome," defenseman Jack Johnson said after Quick's most recent start, a 2-1 win Thursday over the Panthers in which he stopped 41 shots. "We've been winning games being an offensively challenged team and it's mainly because of him."
Ducks: After letting a three-goal lead slip before earning a point with an overtime loss in Boudreau's debut behind the Anaheim bench on Friday against Philadelphia, there was more heartbreak in store for the Ducks on Sunday. They got goals from Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu before their game against the Wild was 10 minutes old, but Minnesota stormed back to hand them a 5-3 defeat, their ninth in 10 games. Since opening the season 4-1-0, the Ducks have lost 18 of 21 games (3-13-5).
"We have to play 60 minutes," Boudreau said. "We played about 12 good minutes in the first period. We stopped playing. The second period we just stood around and watched and felt a little bit sorry for ourselves. It took some soul searching in between periods here and I thought we played a really solid third period. It was a) too little, too late and b) if you want to be successful in this League, that is how you have to play for 60 minutes."
Who's hot: Quick, expected to get the start Tuesday, gave up just one goal in winning both of his starts last week, posting a .987 save percentage and recording his 18th career shutout against the Sharks in his 200th career appearance. … Over the Ducks' last nine games, Getzlaf has 2 goals and 9 assists, Corey Perry has 5 goals and 6 assists and Teemu Selanne has 4 goals and 6 assists.
Injury report: Richards has been put on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, where he joins Los Angeles forward Scott Parse (hip) and defenseman Alec Martinez (upper body). Defenseman Willie Mitchell is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. … Anaheim goalie Dan Ellis is out with a groin strain. Defenseman Matt Smaby (thumb) and Lubomir Visnovsky (finger) and forwards Jason Blake (wrist) and George Parros (eye) are on injured reserve.
Stat pack: Penner's goal was his first of the season and came in his first game after being activated off injured reserve. It was just the third goal in 34 regular-season games as a King for the former 30-goal scorer with the Oilers. … Selanne played his 800th game for the Ducks on Sunday and, with a pair of assists, moved just four points from tying Johnny Bucyk for 23rd on the all-time scoring list. Selanne currently has 1,365 career points.
Puck drop: This marks the finale of a six-game homestand for Anaheim that has not produced the turnaround the club desired. Randy Carlyle was fired after the only win, Boudreau is trying to get things back on track and goalie Jonas Hiller didn't mince words when talking about the defensive performance in Sunday's loss.
"I think that's where you can see why we're not winning," Hiller said. "Those guys always seem to get inside, to kind of walk through two guys and suddenly get a 2-on-1 out of nothing. Even though we have guys back, it seems like we're just too cute.
"It looks like we are there but not really there. Physically there, but probably mentally we are already in the other zone or still in the dressing room."