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Preview, Game Day #81: Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings

Oh man oh man oh man oh man it's here

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings

Time: 7:30 Pacific

TV: FSW/Prime Ticket

Enemy Reading: Anaheim Calling

Los Angeles Kings

Lucic - Kopitar - Pearson
Brown - Carter - Toffoli
King - Lecavalier - Lewis
Clifford - Andreoff - Versteeg

McNabb - Doughty
Muzzin - Schenn
Scuderi - McBain

Quick
(Enroth)

Scratched: Shore, Dowd, Gravel Injured: Gaborik, Martinez, Nolan, Greene

Anaheim Ducks

McGinn - Getzlaf - Perry
Cogliano - Kesler - Silfverberg
Santorelli - Horcoff - Stewart
Garbutt - Thompson - Wagner

Fowler - Despres
Lindholm - Manson
Stoner - Vatanen

Gibson
(Khudobin)

Scratched: Holzer Injured: Andersen, Perron, Pirri, Bieksa, Rakell

Notes:

  • Big game, in case you don't normally watch the regular season. (Can't blame you after last year.) A regulation win puts LA a single victory away from their first division title in approximately 90 years, which is amazing, because they've been around for 50 or so. An overtime/shootout win means Anaheim can still win out and take the division no matter what, but the margin of error becomes smaller in their back-to-back. A Ducks win is bad news.
  • (The last, and only, division title, for the Kings was actually in 1990-91. It was called the Smythe Division back then. The Ducks and Sharks did not exist.)
  • And yes, readers, you WOULD like the Kings to win the division. At least, 59% of you would.
  • Some injury-related luck for LA, in that Rickard Rakell (who we heaped lavish praise on during yesterday's Jewelcast) had his appendix removed a week ago. He'll be back for the playoffs, but the lineup looks a little more top-heavy than usual with Rakell and David Perron out.
  • Of course, that's offset by the absence of Marian Gaborik (who has some happy Ducks-related memories) and Alec Martinez (ditto) for LA. In particular, Martinez's absence is a concern. You can get away with a bottom pair of McBain-(Scuderi or Gravel) against Calgary; can you get away with it against Anaheim?
  • Obviously, this one will go a long way in determining first-round matchups. But if the Kings and Ducks both survive tricky first-round matchups, whoever has home ice in that second round might be giving thanks for the outcome of this one. Don't look too far ahead though!
  • Top goal-scorer in this game: Corey Perry, 33. Top assists man: Ryan Getzlaf, 50. Top scorer overall: Anze Kopitar, 72.
  • PREDICTION: Kings and Ducks both reach 100 points tonight. Kings reach 101 on an overtime winner by Milan Lucic.