Preview: Tempers to reach boiling point as Kings face Ducks

These Kings-Ducks matchups capture the essence of old school hockey (with more display of skill) every single time.

How to Watch

Game Time: 7 p.m. Pacific Time

TV: Fox Sports West, Prime Ticket, ESPN+ (Go here for more information on subscribing)

Radio: iHeart Radio

The Opposition: Anaheim Calling

What to Watch

It’s no secret that when the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks play against each other, it is must watch television for hockey fans.

It doesn’t seem matter what part of the season it is or where both teams are in the standings. The buildup to these games and what occurs during them clearly illustrates the animosity they have towards each to each other. I mean, Kings fans started calling Anaheim’s barn “Staples Center South” for crying out loud.

You can take a look at the all these games but by looking solely at 2018-19 meetings alone, the pair that is more iconic than peanut butter and jelly have combined for 45.5 hits per game. Los Angeles has won three of the last four games against them.

Fighting is dying a slow death but there is no shortage of brouhahas in this crosstown rivalry that have provided such memorable moments. From Kevin Bieksa’s superman punch to a line brawl or when Teemu Selanne of all people got involved. Part of me wishes Pierre McGuire was between the benches to provide commentary.

Here now in 2019-20, Los Angeles and Anaheim share a bunk bed in the bottom of the standings but the road to how it got there is more puzzling than a Jackson Pollock painting.

The LA Kings understandably struggled in October but are finding themselves in situations with more chances to win, being involved in seven one-goal games in November, with the most recent occurrence a 2-1 triumph over a red-hot Winnipeg Jets squad where Nikolai Prokhorkin’s second goal in the past three games proved to be the game decider.

With the organization standing pat on Jonathan Quick as their Number 1, Jack Campbell played his best game of the season by stopping 33 of 34 shots faced against Winnipeg on Saturday.

On the contrary, the Ducks won six of their first eight games before finding themselves in the mires that is that 3-10 record in the last 13 games.

John Gibson has served as Anaheim’s savior in seasons where the rest of the team was falling apart; Allowing his team to win games they shouldn’t have and being in the Vezina race to go with his all-star nod in 2018-19. But 2019-20 has seen Gibson waving the white flag, allowing three goals or more in his last five starts.

Despite being without his twin Corey Perry this season, Ryan Getzlaf is in the midst of a bounce back year thanks to a recent six-game point streak.

Sans Ryan Miller (because of his position), Getzlaf, who is the oldest player on the active roster, could lead the team in scoring if the current results hold (20 points as of 12/2). A 41-year-old Selanne accomplished this when he had 66 points in 2011-12.

Once possessing of the best defensive corps in the league, Anaheim’s wheels on the blue line have been falling apart in recent years. No longer in their possession is Brandon Montour, Sami Vatanen and Shea Theodore and for an extended chunk this season, Josh Manson is out due to a MCL sprain.

The battle of special teams is going to be something to keep an eye on as the Ducks have the worst power play at home (8.1 %). While the Kings are ranked 26th in penalty killing, a power play goal hasn’t been surrendered in the past 11 times they were shorthanded.

Anaheim is a team that has been struggling to stay out of the penalty box this season, finding themselves in a three-way tie for first place in penalties taken (122). Can Los Angeles take advantage?

We’ve heard Jim Fox preach the sentiment of scoring first many times during the pregame show. As a matter of fact, LA is 8-1 when leading after the first period as opposed to being 0-10-1 when trailing.


Los Angeles Kings

Iafallo — Kopitar — Brown
Amadio — Carter — Toffoli
Kempe — Lizotte — Wagner
Clifford — Prokhorkin — Lewis

Hutton — Doughty
MacDermid — Walker
Roy — Ryan


Anaheim Ducks

Rakell — Getzlaf — Terry
Jones — Henrique — Silfverberg
Ritchie — Steel — Kase
Deslauriers — Grant — Rowney

Lindholm — Larsson
Fowler — Gudbranson
Guhle — Holzer


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