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Ducks, Kings Battle at Honda Center for the First Time this Season

by Adam Brady /

No matter the circumstances, a battle between the Ducks and Kings is frequently a barn burner, and that's likely to endure tonight let Honda Center (7 p.m. PT on Prime Ticket). 

Of the last 32 games between the SoCal rivals, 20 have been decided by just a goal, though that wasn't the case in their only other matchup so far in 2020-21. In what was one of their best performances of the season, the Ducks rolled to a 3-1 victory at Staples Center, with John Gibson stopping 20 of the just 21 shots the Kings got off that night.

That improved Anaheim to a record of 21-7-5 in the last 33 regular season games vs. Los Angeles. 

Wins have been few and far between for the Ducks as of late, as they sit in seventh place in the Honda West Division at 7-12-6. The Kings, meanwhile, are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and are just two points out of playoff position. 

The Ducks enter this one somewhat of a high note, having pulled off a comeback 5-4 overtime victory in Colorado on Saturday evening that snapped a nine-game losing skid. Anaheim impressively wiped out a two-goal deficit in the third period and won it on Ryan Getzlaf's tap-in goal in overtime. It was the 35th overtime point of his career, tying Jaromir Jagr for fourth place on the NHL's all-time list. 

"I think the relief in our locker room is good," Getzlaf said. "It takes a little tension off. We've been battling the last, I can't even tell you, five or six games, playing pretty good hockey. Just coming close was getting really old."

Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots to win his 389th career game, tying Dominik Hasek for 14th place on the NHL's all-time wins list. He may have saved the game with a pad-stacking stop late in the third period that kept the game tied. 

Video: ANA@COL: Miller gets across the crease and robs Megna

Troy Terry had a pair of goals on the night, including this beauty of a double deke move to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the second. 

Video: ANA@COL: Terry makes his way in and scores backhander

Rickard Rakell added a goal and two assists, including a beautiful feed to Getzlaf for the game-winner, and he extended his points streak to five games (3-6=9). 

The Ducks can only hope the win Saturday night springboards them to more success, as Getzlaf pointed out their level of play was not necessarily illustrated by their unfortunate record. 

"It's not like we were getting blown out," said the Ducks captain. "In a lot of the games, we had the lead. We've just got to figure out how to play confidently throughout the whole game. It's an opportunity to build something and learn from it."

Tonight is the second game of an eight-game series between the rivals this season, which will include a run of four straight April 26 through May 1. The Kings are coming off a comeback OT victory of their own, which came two nights ago vs. the Blues, a 4-3 victory at Staples Center. 

It's the same old story on offense for LA, which is led in scoring by Anze Kopitar (6-22=28 points) and in goals by Dustin Brown with 12. In net, veteran Jonathan Quick and 26-year-old Calvin Petersen have been splitting duties evenly in net (both with 12 games played each), and it remains to be seen who will get the nod tonight in Anaheim.  

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