The Los Angeles Kings appear to be putting a rough stretch
The Anaheim Ducks are still mired in the middle of their
The Kings look to sweep a home-and-home set on consecutive days
against the Ducks for the first time Thursday night when the teams
meet in Anaheim.
Los Angeles (9-6-3) has won three of four following a
season-high five-game losing streak (0-3-2).
The Kings’ recent success continued Wednesday with a 2-1
shootout win over the Ducks at home to open this season’s Freeway
Faceoff. Justin Williams scored the decisive goal in the seventh
round of the tiebreaker, putting Los Angeles in position to beat
the Ducks on consecutive days for the first time. The teams have
played five previous home-and-home back-to-backs, with the first
four ending in splits before Anaheim swept a pair of meetings April
8 and 9.
“Any time we play them, it’s a battle,” Williams said. “They’re
always a tough opponent, especially later in the year when we’re
battling for playoff spots. We got a little revenge from last year
and we want to take these four points.”
Returning the favor Thursday could also add some animosity to
this burgeoning rivalry.
“For it to be like a Montreal-Boston type of thing, you need it
to have that type of history,” Williams said. “You need to have
those battles in the playoffs, where you say, ‘You remember that
Kings and Ducks series in 2012?’ You need to have that type of
memory, but it’s a rivalry for us and it’s a rivalry for our fans,
and if both teams can succeed, it’s certainly going to be good for
New Kings center Mike Richards made his presence felt in this
rivalry, netting the one shot in 37 through overtime that beat
Jonas Hiller on Wednesday. Richards, acquired from Philadelphia
over the summer, has three goals in his last four games after
scoring two in his first 14 with Los Angeles.
Anaheim (6-8-4) has dropped eight of nine overall (1-5-3) and
four of five at home to fall into the Pacific Division cellar. The
Ducks have lost their last four games that went beyond regulation,
including three that ended in shootouts.
“It’s definitely frustrating to lose in a shootout again,” said
Hiller, who stopped five shots in Wednesday’s tiebreaker. “Those
points might cost us in the end, and we sure wish it wouldn’t have
been to a division rival.”
The Ducks have scored two goals or fewer in seven of their last
nine games while being shut out twice, and their top line of
30-goal scorer Bobby Ryan, two-time All-Star Ryan Getzlaf and
reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry is struggling.
Ryan – a 30-goal scorer in each of the last three seasons –
hasn’t found the net in five games, while Getzlaf and Perry have
one goal apiece over the past six contests.
Only Getzlaf scored in the shootout Wednesday, and he assisted
with Perry on Teemu Selanne’s goal with 3:25 to play in regulation
that helped the Ducks salvage a point in the standings.
Selanne’s tally ended his own five-game drought, and he’ll now
try to end an eight-game stretch without a goal at home.