DUCKS (44-16-7) at KINGS (38-23-6)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 1150
NEIGHBORLY VISIT: This is the fourth of five meetings with the boys from Orange County this season, and the first one at STAPLES Center, a building in which the Ducks have dropped each and every one of their past five visits dating back to November 16, 2011. The Kings split their two games in Anaheim at Honda Center early in the season, and fired blanks against the Ducks in their Stadium Series matchup at Dodger Stadium on January 25.
PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Tonight’s atmosphere is expected to have a playoff-like feel to it, as is the game. That’s nothing new when these two cross-town rivals run into one another, but this may be a preview of the real deal. Due to the NHL’s new divisional postseason format, there is a solid chance the Kings and Ducks meet in the first round of the playoffs. While Anaheim has gone 4-5-2 in its past 11 games, the San Jose Sharks have caught up with the Ducks (95 points) for the Division’s top slot.
“All of a sudden San Jose has caught Anaheim and it’s interesting,” Jarret Stoll told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times Friday in El Segundo.
CAUGHT SLEEPING: The Kings are often stingy when scoring first, but were ahead of themselves Thursday night against Toronto when they lost 3-2 after building a 2-0 first period lead on the Maple Leafs. The last time the Kings held a two-goal lead and ended up losing a game, it was more than a calendar year ago in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild on March 30, 2013 at the XCEL Energy Center. Can the Kings stay on their toes tonight?
BECAUSE: It’s the biggest matchup of the season thus far for the Kings.
WE’LL HAVE THE LIGHTS ON: The Anaheim Ducks last visited STAPLES Center on April 13, 2013.
Drew Doughty gave the Kings a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, Ryan Getzlaf tied the game early in the second period with a wacky shorthanded goal, and Mike Richards sent home the game’s decider with a cannon of a shot in the final seconds of the middle frame.
It was Anaheim’s fifth-straight loss at STAPLES Center.
The Ducks haven’t won a game on the corner of Figueroa St. and Chick Hearn Blvd. since April 9, 2011.
WHERE MOMMA KEEPS THE COOKIES
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 7:00, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:30PM PT.