KINGS (29-16-6) at DUCKS (37-10-5)
TV: NHL-N US, FS-W, PRIME
Last 10: Los Angeles 4-4-2; Anaheim 8-2-0
Season series: Anaheim and Los Angeles play the second game of the five-game 2013-14 Freeway Faceoff Thursday night at Honda Center. The game will be the precursor to the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series game this Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Anaheim is 49-41-23 all-time against Los Angeles, including a 29-13-14 record at Honda Center. The Ducks have outscored the Kings in the all-time series, 321-313 (shootout goals excluded).
Teemu Selanne leads the Ducks in career scoring vs. the Kings, earning 118 points (52g/66a) in 103 games. Captain Ryan Getzlaf enters tonight's game on a five-game scoring streak vs. Los Angeles, earning five points (3g/2a) since Mar. 16, 2012.
Big story: There are so many storylines going into this one. For starters, there is the fact the Kings and Ducks are two of the best teams in the Western Conference. Anaheim's recent 18-1-0 run pushed the club way up the Pacific Division standings, so much so that it now has a nine-point lead over the second place San Jose Sharks and a 15-point lead over the Kings. Secondly, this is the preview to the highly anticipated event that will take place Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, when the NHL puts on its first regular season outdoor game in a warm-weather climate.
Ducks: Anaheim's 22-game home point streak was snapped with a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Honda Center on Tuesday night. The Ducks (20-1-2 at Honda Center) were the last team in the NHL to suffer a regulation loss at home. The league-leading Ducks have gone 19-3-0 in their last 23 games and have won nine of their last 11 (9-2-0. The team is 9-2-0 on the road and 10-1-0 at Honda Center during the current 22-game stretch.
The Ducks look will to further separate themselves from the division rival Kings, who are 4-4-2 in their past 10 games.
“We’re at a point in our season where we’ve lost two out of the last three, and now we’re getting to play the Kings twice,” said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. “We need to go in there and win tomorrow night, then win on Saturday to reestablish our confidence in our game.”
Ducks veteran Saku Koivu says they’ll need to be ready to face a team built for the playoffs.
“Even if you have a lead in the standings and you’re feeling comfortable, things can turn around real quickly here,” he said. “You want to get ready. You never know if you’re going to meet them in the playoffs. We have to prove to ourselves that we can compete against those guys on a consistent basis.”
Kings: It's been a struggle lately for the Kings as they have dropped three in a row, including the past two in regulation. They have won only four of their past 14 games (4-8-2) and are finishing off a five-game road trip at Honda Center. The game at Dodger Stadium is considered a home game for the Kings. They're coming into the game fresh off a 5-3 loss at the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"We're doing what bad teams are doing," forward Justin Williams said following the loss to Columbus. "We're allowing special-teams goals. We're allowing breakdown goals. When teams score goals against us, they need to earn them and earn them heavily. We haven't done that lately."
Expect Jonathan Quick to be back in net Thursday after he got Tuesday off. Martin Jones, making his first start since being recalled after the Kings traded Ben Scrivens last week, made 29 saves on 34 shots in the losing effort Tuesday.
Who's hot: Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf brings an eight-game point-streak into the game Thursday. He has five goals and seven assists during the streak. ... Kings forward Jeff Carter has a goal in four straight games and leads the team with 20 this season.
Injury report: Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) is out. Defenseman Sheldon Souray is out for the season after undergoing wrist surgery. ... Kings defenseman Matt Greene (concussion) is out indefinitely.
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