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Big points on the table as Kings visit Anaheim

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


ANAHEIM BOUND: Tonight marks the third of five meetings with the Ducks this season and the Kings’ second and final visit to Anaheim’s Honda Center. The Ducks are playing the fourth of a five-game home stand where they’ve gone 3-0-0 thus far; they’re coming off of a 2-1 OT win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. The Kings are on the road for one game; they’re coming off of a 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night.

BACK-TO-BACK: Games in consecutive days can often be a cause for concern, but for the Kings this season, they’ve been delightfully successful in back-to-back sets. Tonight will complete the Kings' 10th two-in-two of the season, and in the second game of back-to-back sets, they’re an outstanding 8-0-1, not having lost once in regulation.

LINEUP: The Kings held an optional morning skate at Honda Center in anticipation of tonight’s game. No changes are expected to be made to the lineup the team skated with Saturday night. Jordan Nolan is expected to be placed on injured-reserve. Jonathan Quick, who was given Saturday night off to rest, will start in goal.

FORWARDS

LUCIC – KOPITAR – BROWN
KING – CARTER – TOFFOLI
PEARSON – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – SHORE – ANDREOFF
(MERSCH)

DEFENSEMEN

MUZZIN – DOUGHTY
MARTINEZ – SCHENN
MCNABB – SCUDERI
(MCBAIN)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

TWO IN THREE: The Kings will see the Ducks twice over the course of their next three games, and huge points are on the board. “Yeah, we know what’s going on,” said Jeff Carter when asked if the team is aware of Anaheim’s push in the standings. “I think both clubs know how big it is, it’s definitely a four-point game,” Tanner Pearson said Saturday. “Us three, with San Jose in the mix is pretty close right now, so every point counts for sure.”

RIVALRY FAMILIARITY: Defenseman Rob Scuderi logged 19:07 minutes in his first game back with the Kings Saturday night, recording an assist, two shots, and one shot blocked. Having played four seasons in Los Angeles, Scuderi is well aware of what the Kings-Ducks rivalry brings to the table, namely on the road at Honda Center. “I think have a big start,” said Scuderi. “Usually that’s the best way to get yourself going, especially in a road rink, to take some of the air out of the building to have a good first five and ten minutes, it goes a long way I think.”

THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings have split their two meetings with the Ducks so far this season, winning 3-2 on January 17 at Honda Center and falling 4-2 on February 4 at STAPLES Center. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in points scored against the Ducks this season with four (1G, 3A), Tyler Toffoli with the most goals (2G). Jonathan Quick has started both games against Anaheim, making 30 saves in the Kings’ win, and being pulled early in the second period in the team’s loss.

ANAHEIM HOT: The Ducks come into the night riding a seven-game win streak, with points earned in 15 of their last 16 games (14-1-1) since their previous game against the Kings on January 17. Anaheim has not lost on home ice since the Kings previous visit to Honda Center, going 6-0-0 against visiting teams since then. The Ducks, with one game in-hand on the Kings, come into the night trailing Los Angeles by only four points in the Pacific Division standings.

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network, with coverage starting from Honda Center just prior to puck drop at 6:00 PM PST. You can listen to the Kings’ very own Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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