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Preview: Kings at Ducks

Los Angeles captain Anze Kopitar remains sidelined; Anaheim after fifth straight win on home ice

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

KINGS (9-9-1) at DUCKS (9-6-3)

8 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-W, NHL.TV


Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings will be without captain Anze Kopitar for the fifth straight game. Kopitar, day to day with an upper-body injury, skated with Marian Gaborik and Andy Andreoff at the Kings' practice facility Saturday and again Sunday, but coach Darryl Sutter gave no indication that the top-line center would be ready. Center Jeff Carter moved up in Kopitar's absence and has been playing with Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, reuniting a line that had success in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Carter has three points in two games and nine points in his past eight. "He's carried the team on his back, literally," Sutter said after the Kings' 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. "Every time he was on the ice, maybe we didn't have the puck and he would make sure we would get the puck back. He has shown a lot of leadership and really, really good play for us." The Kings have won their past two games but lost 4-0 to the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 1. "You're not going to beat Anaheim with one line," Carter said. "You need all four lines and everybody working. They're a deep team. It's always fun playing against them. The games get heated and we've got to be ready."


Ducks team scope

The Ducks are hoping to put together their first three-game winning streak of the season and feed off the atmosphere at Honda Center, where they've won their past four games. "The passion and energy is always there," defenseman Cam Fowler said after practice Saturday. "With the proximity of the teams, the hate for one another is always there. It's a challenge for us and we're looking forward to playing in front of our fans. It's a game that has a different atmosphere to it. It's going to be loud. As players, we feed off of that energy." Right wing Ondrej Kase was called up from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Saturday to fill in for the injured Jospeh Cramarossa. Kase has one assist in two NHL games but has impressed with the Gulls. "Management and the coaching staff in San Diego said that he's been their best player," coach Randy Carlyle said. 


Kings projected lineup

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Nic Dowd -- Devin Setoguchi

Dwight King -- Trevor Lewis -- Jordan Nolan

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Teddy Purcell

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Kevin Gravel -- Matt Greene  

Peter Budaj

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Tom Gilbert

Injured: Anze Kopitar (upper body), Andy Andreoff (thumb), Brayden McNabb (arm), Marian Gaborik (broken foot), Jonathan Quick (groin)


Ducks projected lineup

Nick Ritchie -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Rickard Rakell -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Ryan Garbutt -- Chris Wagner -- Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Kevin Bieksa -- Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: None

Injured: Joseph Cramarossa (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Nate Thompson (Achilles)


Status report

Kase skated on the third line with Vermette and Rakell at practice Saturday. … Bieksa has been absent from practice with an illness but took part in an optional morning skate Sunday and is expected to be available. … Stoner is dealing with a lingering lower-body issue. Holzer is expected to take his place and skate with Bieksa on the third pairing. … Sutter didn't name a starting goalie but Zatkoff skated at Toyota Sports Center on Sunday. Zatkoff returned from a groin injury and backed up Budaj on Saturday. 


Who's hot

Rakell has nine points in nine games since returning from offseason abdominal surgery. … Silfverberg has two goals and three assists in his past four games. … Kesler has four goals in four games. … Fowler has three points in five games. … Toffoli has three points in two games. … Pearson has two goals in five games. … Dowd has a three-game assist streak.

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