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Ducks host Kings in Stadium Series preview

by Brian Compton

KINGS (17-7-4) at DUCKS (18-7-4)


Last 10: Los Angeles 6-1-3; Anaheim 3-4-3

Season series: This is the first of five games between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. They will play each other twice next month, including the Stadium Series game on Jan. 25 at Dodger Stadium.

Big story: The rivalry resumes at Honda Center on Tuesday night, a preview to what should be an unbelievable atmosphere at Dodger Stadium next month. Players on each side admitted they're already thinking about it.

"It could be 75 degrees out and we're going to be playing a hockey game," Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "This is really exciting. Every outdoor game so far has been in a big market, northern city. This is a big market, but far from the north. Everybody in Southern California is very excited. I think this will be really cool for hockey in the area: Two good teams squaring off in an incredibly memorable venue."

"It will be super cool," Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell said. "I've never played in front of that many people before, so that will be such a rush."

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles faced the St. Louis Blues for the first time since the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals on Monday night, and the outcome was yet another one-goal game.

Tyler Toffoli scored twice and Ben Scrivens continued his remarkable season in a 25-save performance to lead the Kings to a 3-2 victory at Staples Center. Los Angeles eliminated St. Louis from the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six games, with each of those games being decided by one goal.

"We cleaned up a lot," defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "We focused being quick in our zone, getting pucks in and out, and not giving them time to set up or get a forecheck going or a cycle game going. When we're cleaning and quick in our zone, we don't give them a chance to get time in our zone."

Ducks: Anaheim forward Dustin Penner will face his former team for the first time since signing a one-year deal with the Ducks in July. Penner, who helped Los Angeles win the franchise's lone Stanley Cup championship in 2012, says the Kings-Ducks rivalry reminds him of his days with the Edmonton Oilers and their rivalry with the Calgary Flames.

"There's a lot of familiarity with the other team, systems, players and tendencies," told the Ducks' website Monday. "It's a unique experience for any player, especially in two cities that are heated rivals, like Edmonton and Calgary. I've played on both sides of this rivalry and there's a lot of passion among its fans."

Who's hot: Kings center Anze Kopitar has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past seven games, while Toffoli has three points in his past two (two goals, one assist). … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has a 10-game point streak. He has seven goals and eight assists over that span.

Injury report: Los Angeles will be without goalie Jonathan Quick (groin), forwards Matt Frattin (lower body) and Trevor Lewis (lower body), and defenseman Matt Greene (upper body). … Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen (lower body) has missed the past three games and will be a game-time decision Tuesday, while Francois Beauchemin (upper body) is hopeful he'll play. Defensemen Sheldon Souray (wrist) and Luca Sbisa (wrist), forward Jakob Silfverberg (hand) and goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) are on injured reserve.

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