Kings-Mighty Ducks Preview
GAME: Los Angeles Kings (27-15-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (18-16-7).
TIME: Monday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
Luc Robitaille wasn't able to become the Los Angeles Kings' all-time leading goal scorer in his last game. He'll take another shot at breaking Marcel Dionne's record when the Kings visit the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Robitaille scored his 548th and 549th goals with the Kings in a 4-0 victory over Phoenix on Thursday night to pull within one of Dionne, but was held scoreless as Los Angeles lost 3-2 to San Jose on Saturday night. The defeat snapped the Kings' three-game winning streak.
Robitaille has 660 goals in his 19-year career, an NHL record for left wings.
The Kings played Saturday without leading scorer Pavol Demitra, who missed his first game of the season with an unspecified leg injury. Demitra has 20 goals and 30 assists this season and the Kings struggled without his offensive production, unable to build on an early 2-0 lead.
"They have a great offense, and it showed," Kings goalie Mathieu Garon said of the Sharks. "They come hard at you. We knew even with our early lead that it wouldn't be good enough. They have a great power-play unit. We knew coming in that we couldn't take too many penalties, or that would hurt us."
Los Angeles was held to fewer than three goals for the first time in 11 games.
Craig Conroy, second on the team with 46 points, extended his point streak to eight games with an assist on Lubomir Visnovsky's goal in the first period.
The Mighty Ducks wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 4-1 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Playing on consecutive nights, Anaheim gave up two quick goals in the third period to fall behind by three and ruin its chances of a comeback.
"There's no excuse," Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne said. "That's why this league is so tough. Especially the nights you play back to back. We arrived in the city at 3 o'clock in the morning. You don't have much time to recover. You just have to play smarter.
"In the third period, we made a couple of mistakes, and it cost us goals."
The loss followed a heartbreaking defeat Friday night, when the Mighty Ducks blew a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 in a shootout to Dallas. Anaheim finished the trip 2-3.
"Our hockey club can play better than it did tonight," Mighty Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We need to put more pressure on ourselves to do so."
Anaheim dealt forward Petr Sykora to the New York Rangers on Sunday for defenseman Maxim Kondratiev. Sykora spent three-plus seasons with the Ducks and had 64 goals and 67 assists in 197 games. He recorded seven goals and 13 assists this season.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 8): Kings - 56 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division. Mighty Ducks - 43 points, 3rd place, 13 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Demitra, 20 goals and 50 points; Visnovsky, 31 assists; Sean Avery, 136 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 19 goals and 36 points; Scott Niedermayer, 22 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 84 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 8): Kings - Power play: 15.8 percent (48 for 303), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 81 percent (221 for 273), tied for 20th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15 percent (37 for 246), tied for 24th. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (229 for 273), 11th.
GOALTENDERS: Kings - Garon (19-9-0, 1 SO, 2.60 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (8-6-2, 3.10). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (11-6-7, 2.79); Ilya Bryzgalov (7-10-0, 2.54).
SEASON SERIES: Kings, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 16; Kings 4-3, SO. At Anaheim, Calif., Garon made 42 saves and stopped Selanne and Niedermayer in the shootout to lift Los Angeles.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 12-9-2 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 13-6-3 at home.