Kings-Mighty Ducks Preview
GAME: Los Angeles Kings (18-13-1) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (14-13-5).
TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
Teemu Selanne has piled up some impressive numbers against the Los Angeles Kings.
He'll try to add to them when the Anaheim Mighty Ducks host their Pacific Division rivals at the Arrowhead Pond.
Selanne has 31 goals and 70 points in 60 career games against Los Angeles, his second-highest point total against any opponent. The 35-year-old right wing has 74 points in 46 games against his former team, the San Jose Sharks.
Selanne has struggled of late, however, scoring just one goal in his last six games. He didn't have a point in Anaheim's 4-2 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday, but Francois Beauchemin scored and added two assists as the Ducks improved to 5-1 in their last six home games.
The three points for Beauchemin were a career high. He registered his first multi-point game on Dec. 6 against Carolina, and has six points in his last five games.
"It was just one of those nights where I was able to take the puck to the net," said Beauchemin, who came to Anaheim as part of the Nov. 15 trade that sent Sergei Fedorov to Columbus. "We have been working on our power play and it paid off."
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves to improve to 2-1-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average in four starts since returning from a hamstring strain.
"We are a big team and when we put bodies on their guys, it works for us," Giguere said. "That's the thing we need to do, especially in our house. The whole team is playing very well right now."
A win over the Kings would move the Ducks two games above .500 for the first time since they were 7-5-1 on Nov. 1.
Los Angeles is 2-6 in its last eight games, and is coming off a 3-2 loss to Washington on Wednesday. Eric Belanger and Sean Avery scored power-play goals, but Los Angeles allowed two unanswered tallies in the third period.
The Kings were outshot 25-14 in the final two periods.
"The last 40 minutes, they initiated most of the play," Kings captain Mattias Norstrom said. "We tried to respond, but we were a step back and took unnecessary penalties and had to play on our heels. This is the result we are going to see every night if we don't work harder."
Though they rank seventh in the league with 106 goals, the Kings continue to struggle offensively. They have scored three goals or fewer in each of their last 10 games, and are just 6-for-68 on the power play over that span.
They will look for a spark from leading scorer Pavol Demitra, who has 11 goals and 22 points in 27 games against Anaheim in his career.
Los Angeles has won two straight and five of six in the series, and is 15-5-4-0 in the last 24 meetings with Anaheim.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 15): Kings - 37 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Pacific Division. Mighty Ducks - 33 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Demitra, 16 goals, 23 assists and 39 points; Sean Avery, 108 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 16 goals and 27 points; Scott Niedermayer, 18 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 57 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 15): Kings - Power play: 14.7 percent (31 for 210), 26th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (162 for 196), 14th (tied). Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.2 percent (30 for 197), 21st (tied). Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (181 for 216), 8th (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Kings - Mathieu Garon (10-7-0, 2.76 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (8-6-1, 2.90). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (8-4-5, 2.65); Ilya Bryzgalov (6-9-0, 2.51).
SEASON SERIES: Kings, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 25; Kings, 3-1. At Los Angeles, Michael Cammalleri, Luc Robitaille and Craig Conroy scored to back LaBarbera, who made 29 saves to win his fifth straight decision.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 7-7-1 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 11-6-2 at home.