Kings/Ducks: Show Goes On [Game #72 Preview]
Kings Roster Notes: (IN) Jonathan Quick (2.23 GAA, .918 SV%), Brad Richardson, Kevin Westgarth. (OUT) Peter Harrold, Davis Drewiske. Injured: Kyle Clifford ("upper body injury"/shiner to the eye), Scott Parse (hip).
Ducks Roster Notes: (IN) Ray Emery is expected to be in net. Now fully recovered from his hip injury, he stopped 30 of 31 shots in his first start in over a year when the Ducks beat the Blues 2-1. He had SV% of .890 and .905 in his previous two seasons. Brad Winchester is another new addition via trade, as is Twitter-famous goalie Dan Ellis. (OUT) Jonas Hiller is still experiencing unfortunate vertigo symptoms, though he seems to be slowly improving. Via trade: Maxim Lapierre. For more info, see the OC Register's Ducks blog and Anaheim Calling.
Eleven games left. With both clubs going 6-3-1 in their last 10, the Kings find themselves in 5th, while Anaheim is just out of a playoff spot. This is the most important game of the year for both teams -- at least, until the next one. Even with a tremendous record since the All-Star break, Anaheim's desperation should be no greater than our own. It's time to leave Indignationville remember what's really important: beating the damn Ducks. Dustin Penner needs some initiation.
Every concern I mentioned in my last preview is still a problem; now everyone on the Kings needs a bounce-back game, none more than Quick. One positive note is that they have managed to do so more than once this season. Getzlaf is back in the lineup this time around, but the top line isn't the only one that's a threat to score; shutting down Anaheim's offense will once again be key. LA leads the season series 2-1.
A win would let them keep hold of 5th and put them ahead of the Ducks by 6 points. If I were there, I'd bring an enormous I LOVE QUICK banner to Staples. Since I live hundreds of miles away, this internet message will have to do. Oh, and GO KINGS.