Preview: Ducks and Kings get closer to their final rosters

The youth movement continues, but no love lost between these two squads.

How to Watch

Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific

TV: NHL Network, Fox Sports West

Radio: LA Kings Audio Network

Opposition: Anaheim Calling

What to Watch

“Good Parenting”—
This all-important “Just Say No to the Anaheim Ducks“ Public Service Announcement brought to you by Kyle Clifford’s son:

The last time these two teams squared off (Game 81, a 5-2 Ducks/#LoseForHughes win), we saw Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry taking cheap shots at Adrian Kempe at the end of a meaningless game in an obvious jealousy move aimed at ruining the Kempe Flow:

Corey Perry is gone (thank goodness), but Getzlaf remains and that’s always fun to see if Drew Doughty will line him up or someone takes a shot to give Kempe a little bit of comeuppance. No one knows, but if you have been taking a spin of the games so far around the league, the pre-season has been feisty only a week in. While it’s never too late to start revving up your Ducks hate, this too is a meaningless game. Or is it?

As the Kings optioned 20 players to the Ontario Reign yesterday, the fight for those NHL spots got that much more intense with logjams at both forward and defense. What to do, you ask? Line them up against your Southern California rivals and see what the rest of the guys have. That’s what you do.

There are some interesting developments to watch as well. Where will Jeff Carter play this season? Who will center them? Who will line up with Ilya Kovalchuk? Is Jonathan Quick the starter or will new coach Todd McLellan opt for the kick in the pants technique to jumpstart our Conn Smythe and two-time Jennings Trophy winner? Will Tomas Björnfot make the big time so soon after being drafted? Is now the time for Blake Lizotte? How about Jaret Anderson-Dolan?

Answers to some of these questions came via the Twitter:

Word from Kings practice is that Clifford, the Kempe brothers, Ben Hutton, Alec Martinez, and Sean Walker will sit this one out. Based on the D pairs, McLellan is stepping up his scrutiny of Björnfot and has him paired with Doughty on the first pair. The Swede taken with the 22nd pick in June is a smooth skater and worthy of paying extra attention to his near perfect play off the puck and his puck intelligence. Who knew he could be this good, this fast? (Apparently Rob Blake that’s who!)

Coach McLellan spent his time away from the unemployment line watching his son and a lot of college hockey. He told the Athletic this week, “I saw Blake [Lizotte] and Mikey Anderson and Jimmy Schuldt of St. Cloud (now with Vegas), anybody that played in the NCHC (the National Collegiate Hockey Conference). I either saw them live or on video a lot during the winter. I had a lot of time. They’re great players. Blake took over games when I watched him play in St. Cloud.”

Based on that ringing endorsement and the Kings not shying away from pushing him to the top of their social media, you can bet that Lizotte is a lock to make the opening day roster.

As for the rest of the burning questions, tune in tonight or grab one of those $11 tickets on StubHub and soak in the action.


Los Angeles Kings

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Anaheim Ducks