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Shore debuts as Kings host red-hot Ducks

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



DUCKS (20-10-6) at KINGS (20-14-10)

7:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

DUCK TALES: This is the third of five meetings with the Ducks this season, and the second and final one at STAPLES Center. The Kings will visit Anaheim’s Honda Center once in February and once in March to complete the season series. Anaheim has won five it’s previous six games, and are coming off of a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. The Kings are playing the sixth game of their seven-game home stand, where they’ve posted a 1-2-2 mark so far.

#4InTheRafters: Rob Blake will be cemented into Kings history forever in a pregame ceremony as his jersey number is retired and lifted to STAPLES Center’s rafters. Blake, who played 14 seasons in a Kings uniform during his 20-year NHL career, will be the sixth player retired by the franchise. All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Rob Blake poster, and are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:30PM for the start of the retirement ceremony.

LINEUP NOTES: Today’s pregame skate in El Segundo was optional, so the Kings will likely go with the lines they skated with during Friday’s practice at the Toyota Sports Center. Nick Shore is expected to make his NHL debut centering the second line with Dwight King and Jeff Carter. Per Jon Rosen, here’s how tonight’s line combinations should shake up:

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

GOALIE TALK: Jonathan Quick will start for the Kings tonight, but it has been reported that Martin Jones may be headed for the injured-reserve with an undisclosed ailment/injury. Because of Jones’ indefinite absence, the Kings have recalled Jean-Francois Berube from the Manchester Monarchs. To make room for Berube, Tyler Toffolie has been placed on the IR with mononucleosis. It is unclear whether Berube will be able to make it to Los Angeles in time for tonight’s contest. Frederik Anderson, who is 3-0-1 with a 2.39 GAA in five career starts against the Kings, will get the start for Anaheim tonight.

ANAHEIM’S HOT: The Ducks roll into tonight’s contest having won five of their previous six games, including their last three, where they’ve scored a combined 13 goals in regulation time. Anaheim is atop the Pacific Division, and 14 points ahead of the fourth-place Kings. Can the Kings handle the red-hot Ducks tonight?

THE LAST TIME AROUND: Both games between these two clubs earlier this season have extended past regulation. The Kings fell 6-5 in a shootout at Honda Center on November 12, and won 3-2 in OT on November 15 in the Ducks’ only previous visit to STAPLES Center this season. Jarret Stoll buried the game-winner and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in the Kings’ win on November 15.

STOLL IT

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 6:00PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with a live broadcast of the Rob Blake retirement ceremony in its entirety starting at 6:30. Bob and Jim will be on the live play-by-play call of the game; the puck is slated to drop at 8:08PM PT.

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