Ducks-Kings Preview

The Anaheim Ducks have surrendered the opening goal in each of

their last four games, but that still hasn’t slowed them down.

Doing that against the surging Los Angeles Kings just might.

The visiting Ducks would like to get on the scoreboard first as

they try to match the longest winning streak in franchise history

at seven Monday night against the reigning Stanley Cup

champions.

Anaheim (13-2-1) has the second-best record in the NHL behind

Chicago, but the Ducks’ success hasn’t come according to plan.

They’ve given up the first goal in 11 games, but are 8-2-1 in

those contests with wins in each of their last four, including

Sunday’s 4-3 overtime victory against Colorado. Anaheim fell behind

by two goals in the opening period before rallying and getting the

decisive tally from Corey Perry with 45.4 seconds left in the extra

session to begin a stretch of five games in seven days.

“A good sign is that we have been finding a way to win the games

and come from behind that makes this team really strong,” right

wing Teemu Selanne said. “It’s a good feeling when you have that

confidence, but we can make these games a little easier by having

better starts and playing 60 minutes.”

Though they haven’t made it easy on themselves, the Ducks have

won six games in a row, one shy of the franchise record set from

Feb. 20-March 7, 1999.

Matching that run against the Kings (8-6-2) might be a tall

order since Los Angeles has won three in a row and five of six

while yielding only one goal in each of those victories.

“To me, that’s the ultimate test,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau

said. “They’re playing like they did in the playoffs last year. I

watch every one of their games, and they’re just flat-out good.

“They’re as good a test as you’re going to find.”

Anaheim won the first season meeting 7-4 at home on Feb. 2

behind an unlikely hat trick from center Nick Bonino, who has

scored once in nine games since.

The Ducks are 7-1-1 on the road, but have dropped the last three

visits to Staples Center. The most recent was a 4-2 defeat on March

3, when Anaheim gave up the first goal.

Ryan Getzlaf has eight points – all assists – over his last 11

games at Los Angeles, but he enters this meeting with three goals

and five assists in five games.

The Kings are looking to continue capitalizing on a home-heavy

stretch after 10 players managed at least a point in Saturday’s 4-1

win over the Avalanche. That was the beginning of a stretch of 13

of 16 at Staples Center.

“We’ve got a lot of home games coming up, so we’ve got to try

and bank these points and win games,” center Jarret Stoll said.

“Everybody on the team has their roles, and there are certain guys

on the team that need goals and points to get their confidence

going.

“Confidence is a funny thing. It comes and goes. And when you

have it, you’ve got to try to keep it.”

Jeff Carter certainly has it, scoring five goals in the past six

games, including one in each of the last three. The right wing

scored twice in the most recent home meeting with the Ducks.

Dustin Brown also had a goal in that matchup, and got two more

against the Kings’ southern California rivals earlier this

month.

Jonathan Quick is 6-1-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average at

home versus Anaheim, but he was chased after surrendering two goals

to Bonino on the first three shots earlier this month.