The Anaheim Ducks play their second game in a back to back, entering the faceoff circle against their rival, LA Kings, for the third installment of the Freeway Faceoff.
Both the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are in the race for a high draft pick this season. However, their rivalry runs deep. Despite the fact that both are dwelling in the cellar of the Pacific Division, and the league I might add, both teams are sure to turn up the pressure in the wake of the third Freeway Face-off of the season.
The Anaheim Ducks are fresh off a 4-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. Nevertheless, despite the score on the scoreboard at the end of the night, the team put in tremendous effort. It’s games like those that fans should be okay losing, because, it wasn’t necessarily for lack of trying. Granted, there were a few mistakes here and there, but they were able to keep up with the pace of a fast and fantastic Tampa Bay Lightning team.
Starting in the second game of a back to back has both its advantages and disadvantages. More than likely, the Ducks will come out sharper than the Kings. However, they must be aware that exhaustion can strike at any time. Dallas Eakins needs to be warry of how long he is keeping his players out on the ice.
Ryan Miller gets the nod in net tonight and considering his last start in LA, that is good news for Anaheim. During his last game against the LA Kings, his .944% save percentage saw him save 34 of 36 shots faced. His team needs to support him tonight, sustain pressure similarly to how they did against Tampa Bay, and limit the amount of time the Kings spend in the Ducks zone, especially at 5-on-5.
What You Need to Know Before Puck Drop
Game 52: Anaheim Ducks vs LA Kings
Season Record: 20-25-5
Location: Staples Center— Los Angeles, California
Time: 7:30pm PST
TV: Prime Ticket, Fox Sports West
Tickets: Looking for last-minute tickets to see the Anaheim Ducks in LA? Our friends at StubHub have you covered, with tickets as low as $44.
Anaheim Ducks News: Happy Hockey Day SoCal!
3 Keys to Dethroning the Kings
Special Teams: The LA Kings special teams have been their Achilles heel this season. While the Anaheim Ducks power play hasn’t always been stellar, their penalty kill has been superb, especially during their last few games. Taking as many opportunities as possible, especially during the power play, could bode well for the Anaheim Ducks. While they want to limit their time in the penalty box as much as possible, their stellar PK unit could also be beneficial to helping them light the lamp. They are currently tied for second in the league for shorthanded goals with the Carolina Hurricanes, scoring 9 total, just behind the Ottawa Senators.
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Utilize Derek Grant and the 4th Line: Derek Grant has scored 3 goals in the last two contests against the LA Kings. The 4th line has played tremendously well against this team as well, in terms of scoring. While it may not be wise to let them see a majority of the teams’ ice time, Dallas Eakins would be a fool not to utilize his fourth line when he feels the team has backed themselves into a corner.
Think Quickly Against Quick: It’s always a good idea to pinpoint your enemy’s weaknesses and use them to your advantage. Special Teams have been a weakness for the Kings, and so has their goaltending. 34-year-old Jonathan Quick just isn’t as… well… quick as he used to be. The Anaheim Ducks have had issues getting the puck into the back of the net and using quick thinking to figure out Jonathan Quick could give the Ducks the upper hand.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup
Tonight’s projected lineup for the Anaheim Ducks has been provided by NHL.com and is subject to change:
Starting Goaltender: Ryan Miller
Backup Goaltender: John Gibson
LA Kings Projected Lineup
Tonight’s projected lineup for the LA Kings has been provided by NHL.com and is subject to change:
Starting Goaltender: Jonathan Quick
Backup Goaltender: Jack Campbell
Injured: Drew Doughty (Undisclosed)
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