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Playoff push continues for Kings in Anaheim

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



KINGS (34-22-13) at DUCKS (44-20-7)

7:30PM PT, TV: NBC SPORTS NETWORK; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

ANAHEIM CALLING: Tonight marks the fifth and final meeting with Anaheim this season; the Kings have gone 1-1-2 against the Ducks this season, winning their only game 3-2 in OT on November 15 at STAPLES Center. The Ducks are playing the second of their three-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night. The Kings are on a quick one-game road trip; they’re coming off of a 1-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.

LINEUP NOTES: The Kings held an optional skate this morning at Toyota Sports Center, so no line rushes were held. Jonathan Quick did not partake in the skate, but is projected to start. Alec Martinez took the ice, but remained on for extra work, so it is unlikely that he returns to the lineup tonight. There have been no updates provided on Jarret Stoll, who’s sat out the last two games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Here’s how the Kings’ lines panned out Monday night:

GABORIK – KOPITAR – BROWN
LEWIS – CARTER – TOFFOLI
KING – SHORE – WILLIAMS
CLIFFORD – ANDREOFF – NOLAN
(STOLL)
-------------------------
REGEHR – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – GREENE
MCNABB – SEKERA
(MARTINEZ - MCBAIN)

BEATING GIBSON: John Gibson will start for the Ducks tonight, his fourth straight for Anaheim. It will be Gibson’s second career regular season start against the Kings; his first came on February 27 at Honda Center, when he made 20 saves in the Kings’ 4-2 loss. Gibson has stopped 57 of the 60 shots he’s faced in the Ducks’ last two games, both wins, posting a .950 SV%, surrendering only three goals. Can the Kings crack Gibson tonight?

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Coming into the night, the Kings sit in the Pacific Division’s third and final playoff spot with 81 points. To maintain that position, the Kings must earn at least one point tonight to keep the Calgary Flames, who also have 81 points, from taking over the tiebreaker. The Kings are three points behind the Vancouver Canucks, who sit second in the Pacific. The Winnipeg Jets, who own the second and final wild-card spot, sit one point ahead of the Kings.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ previous visit to Honda Center this season, they suffered a 4-2 loss to the Ducks. The Kings took a 2-0 lead into the third period with goals from Trevor Lewis and Brayden McNabb, but Anaheim responded with four goals in the third period to secure the win. Martin Jones made 28 saves in the loss.

LEWIS LEAVES HIS MARK

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, with coverage starting just prior to puck drop at 7:30PM PT. You can listen to the Kings’ very own Daryl Evans and Nick Nickson call the game live on AM 790 KABC.

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