After a tough loss last night, the Ducks have an opportunity to get back on track tonight against the LA Kings at Staples Center. (7:30 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830). It's the opener of a five-game road trip that continues with stops in Ottawa (Tuesday), Montreal (Thursday), Toronto (Friday) and Buffalo (next Sunday). The Ducks enter tonight's game with three wins in their past five (3-2-0), and have gone 12-for-12 on the penalty kill during that span.
The Ducks were hanging tough with Tampa Bay for most of the game last night, but the Lightning made them pay dearly on a few mistakes in the defensive zone. Ducks defenseman Michael Del Zotto called it a learning experience. "You take the lesson," he said. "The situation might not be the same tomorrow, but it'll happen again at some point. Having it at the back of your mind and knowing the game situation. Time management. It may not be that exact scenario, but it happens every game."
Perhaps a Saturday night matchup against a longtime crosstown rival will get the juices flowing. It's been an uphill climb for both teams for the majority of the season, as the Ducks and Kings find themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Anaheim comes in with a 20-26-5 record, good for 45 points, while LA brings a 19-28-5 mark (43 points) into tonight's contest.
The Kings are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory on Thursday in Arizona, a game that saw Alex Iafallo record his first career NHL hat trick. He became just the fourth player in franchise history to complete a hat trick in overtime, joining Michal Handzus (March 5, 2009), Bryan Smolinski (Jan. 16, 2001) and Marcel Dionne (Dec. 26, 1983). The 26-year-old left wing has scored the past four goals for the Kings and has five goals in his past four games.
The Ducks hold an all-time record of 68-48-27 vs. the Kings, including a 28-30-11 mark on the road. They've gone 6-3-3 in their past 12 vs. LA and 19-7-5 in the past 31 regular-season contests. Ryan Getzlaf ranks third among active NHL skaters in career scoring vs. the Kings with 57 points (19g/38a) in 73 games.
Third Annual Hockey Day SoCal
The Ducks in conjunction with the Kings will take part in the third annual Hockey Day SoCal hosted by FOX Sports West, Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego today.
FOX Sports West, Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego will offer over eight continuous hours of hockey themed programming beginning with "Hockey Day SoCal Live," a two-hour hockey themed telecast from Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena in Irvine that will celebrate the history and future of the sport in Southern California. The programming will feature a Ducks vs. Kings sled hockey scrimmage, an Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey game, a Lady Ducks practice, a public free skate and much more.
Full details on the third annual Hockey Day SoCal can be found here.