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Kings aim for first win by home team in series

by Corey Masisak


(Los Angeles leads best-of-7 series 2-1)


Big story: The road team has won each of the first three games in this Western Conference Second Round series, and the Anaheim Ducks, complete with more goaltender intrigue, will try to level the series before it shifts back down the I-5 freeway for Game 5. The Los Angeles Kings haven't looked quite like the team that knifed through the San Jose Sharks in convincing fashion at the end of the Western Conference First Round, but a win would give them a commanding lead against their rivals from Orange County.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Anaheim has three players whose availability for Game 4 remains in question. Goaltender Frederik Andersen and forwards Matt Beleskey and Mathieu Perreault each left Game 3 with a lower-body injury. Coach Bruce Boudreau said each is day-to-day.

"At this stage, we have to wait until [Saturday]," Boudreau said. "Any time it's a goalie, it's a little bit different than with a regular player, but we'll see. Matt Beleskey is questionable, has to have some tests done. Perreault, we'll see [Saturday]."

Beleskey has played on the Ducks' top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in this series. He scored Anaheim's first goal in Game 1.

Perreault has centered a line with Patrick Maroon and Teemu Selanne. Nick Bonino could move into that spot, or rookie Rickard Rakell could slide in.

Daniel Winnik will likely replace Beleskey, but any number of players, including Bonino, Maroon, Selanne and Kyle Palmieri, could end up on the top line.

"We've had the depth all year. We've tried to leave that line alone, that Maroon line," Getzlaf said. "It's played pretty well for us. We don't want to take away from anything they're doing to make our line better. We have lots of guys who have stepped into those roles. We've played with a lot of left wingers. I'm not worried about it."

Kings: When San Jose raced out to an early lead in the first round against Los Angeles, turnovers were a big problem for the Kings. The Sharks are speedy and were converting mistakes into goals.

The Ducks haven't been able to create much in the offensive zone at even strength in these three games, but turnovers by the Kings have led to chances, and goals, off the rush.

"It's just managing the puck," center Anze Kopitar said. "When you give them the opportunity off our mistakes, it's never a good thing. We did that in the first series, and we've done it a couple of times now too, where it burned us, and we want to clean that up."

Who's hot: Selanne has four points (two goals) in his past four games for the Ducks. … Kopitar has at least one point in every game for the Kings. He leads the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 15 points.

Injury report: Anaheim defenseman Stephane Robidas (broken leg) is out. … Los Angeles defensemen Willie Mitchell (undisclosed) and Robyn Regehr (undisclosed) are not expected to be available.

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