Kings-Mighty Ducks Preview
GAME: Los Angeles Kings (16-13-6-4) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (13-17-5-5).
TIME: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
Nearly halfway through the season, two teams separated by a short freeway
ride will finally meet for the first time when the Los Angeles Kings visit the
Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
This is the first of six meetings between the geographic and Pacific
Division rivals. The teams will meet three times this month, then play a
home-and-home series at the end of February and conclude the season series
Neither team is playing very well right now.
While Los Angeles is winless in its last eight games (0-2-5-1), Anaheim is
0-2-1 in its last three and 3-7-1 in its past 11.
The Kings appeared headed for their third straight loss Saturday before
Martin Straka scored a short-handed goal with 22 seconds left in regulation.
"It was a tough, hard game -- and to get a tie in the last minute feels
great," Straka said.
Cristobal Huet will make his sixth consecutive start in goal for Los Angeles
on Wednesday. Roman Cechmanek is still sidelined with a bruised left hip and
third-string goalie Milan Hnilicka was placed on injured reserve Friday with a
The Kings, still missing several regulars due to injury, haven't gone
winless in nine straight since an 0-5-3-1 skid from Feb. 12-28, 1994.
Anaheim continued a pivotal stretch Monday with a 2-2 tie against the Stars.
Petr Sykora has assists on both goals -- by Steve Rucchin and Rob Niedermayer
-- for the Mighty Ducks, held to two goals or fewer for the 10th time in 11
Anaheim, six points behind the final playoff spot, is in a stretch where it
plays 16 straight games against Western Conference teams.
"The bottom line is, we cashed in on a power-play opportunity," Rucchin
said. "We're not getting too many of them lately. We seem to be getting just
one or two a game. I think we're pretty used to it by now, unfortunately."
Anaheim forward Vaclav Prospal, signed in the offseason to help offset the
loss of Paul Kariya, has no goals in 12 games and just six this season.