This is the first year for this jersey being the home jersey for the Kings. (via nhlfansshop.com)

Preview of Game 18: Los Angeles Kings

The Ducks play for the first time and begin a home-and-home series with their close rivals the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. Once again, the Ducks will be coming off a loss and their newest Duck will not be in the lineup as his Visa is still in the works.

Season Series: 0-0

Breakdown of the Kings:

The Kings have had off since Saturday, but tonight they have a chance to beat up in the Freeway Faceoff their California rival Ducks. The Kings had gotten off to a hot start, but lately they have struggled a bit going just 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. However, they have won 2 out of the last 3. Including their last game which was home against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. They played a very strong game all the way around against Minnesota in an easy 5-2 win. Jonathan Quick again was very good in net, by the time he had allowed the two Minnesota goals, his team was already up 5-0. Simon Gagne and Justin Williams led the charge with 2 points each. Matt Greene, Dustin Brown, Colin Fraser, Alec Martinez and Williams were the goal scorers for the Kings. That game showed the offensive balance of the Kings. Anze Kopitar is the best offensive player by far and players like Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Justin Williams and Dustin Brown have offensive skill but are also good in the defensive zone and all-around play. They also have two of the best defenseman in the league in Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty. And defenseman Matt Greene, Willie Mitchell, Alec Martinez and Rob Scuderi are all very solid defensemen.

Keys to the Game:

  • LAK: Get on board early, the Ducks offense cannot score lately.
  • LAK: Take advantage of superior special teams play, more specifically their power play.
  • ANA: Need strong goalie play because the offense isn’t there.
  • ANA: Need to do better in the face off circle, neutral zone play and simply, successfully moving the puck out of their own zone.

Players to Watch:

  • LAK – Anze Kopitar: He is a stud in the offensive zone. Do not give him any easy chances because he will score. He also is hot right now with 2 goals and 5 assists in the last 5 games.
  • LAK – Mike Richards: Being a Flyers fan as well, I got to see him play a lot and he was one of my favorite players to watch because he’s good at everything. He plays hard every shift and I’ve always just loved to watch him play the game the right way.
  • ANA – Cam Fowler: He was the lone spark offensively against the Wild, scoring two goals. Maybe the young guy could step up as a leader for this team because right now they definitely need one.
  • ANA – Brandon McMillan: Now, he is a player to watch because some of the moves recently by the Ducks look like they are putting pressure on some of the kids on this team. He is definitely one of them.

Prediction:

Every indication would lead me to believe that the Kings would win this one easy tonight. But, being the big fan that I am of the Ducks, I’m hoping tonight could be a stepping stone to getting on the right path. I like the Hagman pick up, but he’s not ready due to his Visa not being ready. But, think about it, besides the Sharks, I would think that a big win or maybe two against the Kings would definitely spark this team and get them in the right direction. Beating the cross town rival would help, but then again, I’m talking about the Ducks…..

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Tags: Alec Martinez Anaheim Ducks Anze Kopitar Brandon McMillan Cam Fowler Colin Fraser Drew Doughty Dustin Brown Jack Johnson Jonathan Quick Justin Williams Los Angeles Kings Matt Greene Mike Richards Niklas Hagman Rob Scuderi Simon Gagne Willie Mitchell

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