Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. Los Angeles Kings: 11/12/2014


The Anaheim Ducks look to punctuate their four game homestand with a win after dropping the first three games, all in overtime or the shootout. The team, despite injuries and illness, has failed to play consistently for the entire 60 minutes of regulation, and the team has been unable to nab two points in a single game since returning home. The Ducks are also looking to see how their revamped team stacks up against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings, who eliminated the Ducks in seven games last postseason, including a 6-2 thrashing at Honda Center in Game 7.

In an effort to jump-start more offensive production out of him and the team, Emerson Etem practiced on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks have only scored five goals in their previous three games and 12 in their previous eight. With Etem on the top line, Patrick Maroon will drop to take fourth line shifts while Dany Heatley will once again be scratched. Kyle Palmieri has been skating with the team, but he may take an AHL conditioning stint. Palmieri’s injury happened before the preseason, so he has had no games since Game 7 against the Kings almost six months ago. Corey Perry was diagnosed with a viral gland infection and has been away from all practice facilities. He is eligible to come off the Injured Reserve today, but he has not been cleared to return. In an effort to have a better match-up against the Kings, general manager Bob Murray made offseason trades to bring in Ryan Kesler and Nate Thompson. The Ducks should get a good look at how they face with those two acquisitions.

According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for both teams tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Etem – Getzlaf – Devante Smith-Pelly
Matt Beleskey – Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Andrew CoglianoWilliam KarlssonRickard Rakell
Maroon – Thompson – Tim Jackman

On the Ducks’ blue-line, both Boudreau and Cam Fowler have confirmed that the defenseman will play after missing Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury. Fowler’s return should push Mat Clark out of the lineup. Sami Vatanen scored the lone goal in Sunday’s loss to Vancouver, giving him four goals and ten points on the season. Vatanen’s four power-play goals are tied for 3rd most in the NHL and tied for most among defensemen (with Trevor Daley of the Dallas Stars), while his ten power-play points are also tied for 3rd in the NHL and tied for most among defensemen (with Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues). Meanwhile, Francois Beauchemin was also diagnosed with a viral gland infection and has not been cleared to return, meaning Josh Manson will once again draw in. The improvement of Anaheim defensively has been noted, as the Ducks are tied for 4th in the NHL in goals allowed (30) and tied for 2nd in goals per game (1.88).

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Fowler – Clayton Stoner
Hampus Lindholm – Manson
Bryan Allen – Vatanen

For the Los Angeles Kings, they are coming off a 5-1 beating of the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Instead of the usual candidates leading the Kings in scoring, Tyler Toffoli leads Los Angeles in goals (seven), assists (ten), and points (17). His linemate, rookie Tanner Pearson, has seven goals and ten points. The seven goals for Pearson is tied with Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators for most among rookies, while Pearson’s ten points is fourth among all NHL rookies. Marian Gaborik, who scored six goals and ten points in the seven game series against the Ducks in the postseason, scored his first goal of the season against Vancouver.

Los Angeles Kings Forward Lines:

Gaborik – Anze KopitarJustin Williams
Pearson – Jeff Carter – Toffoli
Dwight KingMike RichardsDustin Brown
Kyle CliffordJarret StollTrevor Lewis

On the Los Angeles defense, the team has been scrambling with injuries and suspensions. Slava Voynov was suspended indefinitely because of a domestic violence investigation. The Kings, who have needed defensive depth, signed Jamie McBain to a one-year contract, designating Voynov as a non-roster player. McBain will draw in, as Robyn Regehr is dealing with an injury. Drew Doughty has been an iron man for the Kings, leading the NHL in ice time (424:11) and is second in ice time per game (28:16, only behind Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild). Doughty is tied for fifth on the Kings in points and is third on the team in assists (six).

Los Angeles Kings Defense Pairings:

Jake Muzzin – Doughty
Alec Martinez – McBain
Brayden McNabbMatt Greene

In net, Frederik Andersen (7-1-2, 1.56 GAA, .943 SV%) will get his third consecutive start for the Ducks since returning from leg tightness that kept him from starting two games. Andersen has lost consecutive decisions, which have also been the first two overtime or shootout losses he has taken in his career (27-6-2). Opposing Andersen will be Jonathan Quick (7-3-3, 1.86 GAA, .943 SV%), who will get his 14th start in 17 games. Quick is 2-0-1 in his last three decisions, allowing three goals on 79 shots in that span for a .962 SV% and a 0.97 GAA.

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.