This is the first of four meetings between Los Angeles and Anaheim this season. After tonight, the two teams will meet on Monday, February 25 at Staples Center, Sunday, April 7 at Honda Center, and Saturday, April 13 at Staples Center.
Last year, the Kings finished 5-1-0 against the Ducks, going 3-0-0 at home and 2-1-0 on the road. Two games were decided in shootouts, and all games were decided by either one or two goals. In Anaheim’s lone win last season – a 3-2 Ducks win on at Honda Center on December 6, 2011 – Bobby Ryan scored the game-winner with 49 seconds remaining in regulation. Jonathan Quick started all six games against Anaheim last season and holds an 11-5-2 lifetime record against the Ducks with a 2.43 goals against average and .908 save percentage. Jonas Hiller was excellent in his five starts against Los Angeles last year, going 1-2-2 with a 2.14 goals against average and a .936 save percentage. Lifetime, he’s 7-8-2 with a 2.37 GAA and .922 Sv% against the Kings.
Since February 8, 2010, the two teams have split the last eight meetings at Honda Center.
Anaheim is playing the second game of a back-to-back set. Last night, they defeated Minnesota 3-1 at home behind the first three assist game from Teemu Selanne since February 11, 2011 and two goals from promising forward Kyle Palmieri on his 22nd birthday. The Ducks’ 4-1-1 record is the club’s best start through six games since their Stanley Cup-winning season of 2006-07. Bobby Ryan carries a three-game point streak into tonight’s contest.
Goals/Game: LAK – 28th / 1.83; ANA – 6th / 3.17
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 9th / 2.50; ANA – 17th / 2.83
Power Play: LAK – 30th / 6.1%; ANA – 10th / 23.5%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 5th / 86.7%; ANA – 28th / 68.2%
Faceoffs: LAK – 12 / 50.8%; ANA – 16th / 49.6%
Projected Lines – Los Angeles
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dustin Penner – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Simon Gagne – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan
Rob Scuderi – Drew Doughty
Slava Voynov – Alec Martinez
Davis Drewiske – Jake Muzzin
Notes: With Dustin Penner’s insertion into the lineup, it is possible that Kyle Clifford will slot alongside Colin Fraser and Jordan Nolan, potentially bumping Dwight King out of the lineup for tonight’s game (see quotes below). As always, lineup projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.
Projected Lines – Anaheim
Matt Beleskey – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Kyle Palmieri – Bobby Ryan – Teemu Selanne
Andrew Cogliano – Saku Koivu – Daniel Winnik
Emerson Etem – Nick Bonino – Devante Smith-Pelly
Sheldon Souray – Francois Beauchemin
Toni Lydman – Luca Sbisa
Bryan Allen – Cam Fowler
Notes: Top defensive prospect Sami Vatanen made his NHL debut in last night’s game in place of Lydman and earned power play time, as coach Bruce Boudreau is mindful of the 35-year-old Lydman and might be hesitant to play him on back to back nights. Coaches are occasionally wary of changing lineups after wins, but Lydman is the projected starter, per this report. Bobby Ryan, primarily a left wing opposite Teemu Selanne, has been shifted to center, which should create some interesting faceoffs against former Mora IK teammate Anze Kopitar. More coverage of that dynamic will be posted shortly. Long Beach native and 2010 first round draft pick Emerson Etem should appear in his third career game. As always, lineup projections are educated assessments and not definite alignments.
Darryl Sutter, on the evolution of 42-year-old Teemu Selanne:
“I don’t know how you evolve when you score – what did he score, 75 goals his first year? So I don’t know how you evolve.”
Sutter, on Selanne:
“The reason he’s still a top, top player is because he has a great desire to be a top player still, and he loves the game.”
Sutter, on whether Clifford will slot alongside Fraser and Nolan:
“We’ll see how the game goes. Our left side has a grand total of two goals this year in six games. He’s got one. Brown’s got one.”
Sutter, on the young defensemen absorbing ice time in the absence of Mitchell and Greene (Friday):
“I don’t think we were quite as sharp [Thursday] night. I think that a couple of our young guys didn’t handle the speed quite as well. Not so much the speed on the outside, but the speed down low and things like that, and that’s an issue against Anaheim because they have guys that are – especially that Getzlaf line – that are so good down low.”
Bruce Boudreau, on what he saw in the win over Minnesota (Friday):
“Consistency. To be good, the good teams do that not once and a while, but they do that all the time, and we would like to be thought of that way, but we have to prove it.”
Kyle Palmieri, on playing with Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne (Friday):
“I was excited. I played with Bobby in the past and we had success together, but tonight was the first time I played with him as my centerman and he played great. Our line came to work tonight and we were fortunate to get some offensive scoring chances. I think coach Boudreau stressed that we were good in our own d-zone and I think we were great tonight. We played a full 200-foot game which translated into a couple goals for our line.”