Kings-Mighty Ducks Preview
GAME: Los Angeles Kings (25-17-15-7) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (22-26-9-8).
TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are on the verge of going from the penthouse to the
outhouse in less than a year.
In danger of missing the playoffs one season after reaching the Stanley Cup
finals, the Ducks will try to rebound from a tight loss when they conclude a
home-and-home set with the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
Anaheim, which lost in seven games to New Jersey in last season's finals,
sits nine points behind Calgary in the race for the final playoff berth in the
Western Conference with 17 games to play.
The Ducks blew an opportunity to make up ground on idle Calgary with
Saturday's 2-1 loss to Los Angeles at Staples Center. Luc Robitaille had a goal
and an assist for the Kings.
"We've got the standings posted in our dressing room. We're not stupid. We
can see we needed these two," said Mighty Ducks rookie Joffrey Lupul, who
scored Saturday. "It's still not done by any means. We've got to win (Sunday)
and put something together.
"We're just making it tougher and tougher on ourselves, especially when
this is one of the teams we're chasing. But the mood in here can't stay down
for long because we're going at it again in less than 24 hours."
Robitaille said he expects the Ducks to be an even tougher foe the second
"I don't know if we put them away, I wouldn't say that," Robitaille said
when asked if Saturday's win was the final blow to the Ducks' postseason hopes.
"I expect their best game (Sunday), but we can't afford to lose any games or
give up any points because it's too tight a race."
The Kings and Ducks have never qualified for the playoffs in the same
season. The last time neither made it was 1996.
"This was just kind of a mirror image of what it would be like if the Kings
and Ducks were ever to play each other in a playoff series," Los Angeles coach
Andy Murray said.
"It would be exciting and great for hockey, because these games have
playoff-type intensity. And now that we're getting down to the end of the
season, the intensity level is very high."
Rookie defenseman Tomas Zizka also scored and Cristobal Huet made 29 saves
for the Kings, 26-21-11 all-time against the Ducks and 3-0-1 in their last four
The Kings sit in seventh place in the West, two points ahead of Calgary and
one behind Nashville and Dallas.
STANDINGS: Kings - 72 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Pacific Division. Mighty
Ducks - 61 points, 4th place, 18 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Alexander Frolov, 20 goals; Jozef Stumpel, 26 assists;
Frolov, Robitaille and Ziggy Palffy, 41 points; Sean Avery, 220 PIM. Mighty
Ducks - Sergei Fedorov, 21 goals, 30 assists and 51 points; Garrett Burnett,
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb, 27): Kings - Power play: 14.1 percent (237 for
276), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (223 for 277), 29th. Mighty
Ducks - Power play: 16.7 percent (42 for 251), 13th. Penalty killing: 84.6
percent (230 for 272), 12th (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Kings - Huet (7-7-9, 3 SO, 2.37 GAA); Mathieu Chouinard (no
record); Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (12-24-5, 2, 2.65); Martin
Gerber (10-9-4, 2, 2.28).
SEASON SERIES: Kings, 3-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Saturday; Kings, 2-1. At Los Angeles, Derek Armstrong assisted
on both goals for the Kings.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 12-8-7-6 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 15-7-6-4 at