Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 44 @ Anaheim, January 17, 2016, 6pm PST
Just one day after falling to the Senators, the Los Angeles Kings hit the road, but they aren’t going too far as they visit to the Honda Center to face the 19-17-7 Anaheim Ducks.
Sunday’s matchup, believe it or not, will be the first of the season between the SoCal rivals. With one club leading the division and the other underachieving overall, this matchup will be an exciting one to say the least. The Ducks, though, despite their slow start, have won their last two decisions and would love nothing more than to make it three-in-a-row at the expense of the Pacific leaders. In addition, the Ducks are a very impressive 13-7-4 on home ice this season, but the Kings do boast an equally-impressive 13-6-2 mark away from STAPLES Center so far. Needless to say, something will have to give.
Among others, the Kings need to find a way to contain the ever-popular Corey Perry. The 30-year-old leads the Ducks with 17 goals and 28 points this season while, in 55 career games against the Kings, notching 20 goals and 39 points. Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rackell and their No. 17, Ryan Kesler, all need a fair bit of attention from the silver-and-black as well.
Speaking of No. 17, we need to talk about Los Angeles’s version.
This will be Milan Lucic‘s first installment of the Freeway Faceoff. Lucic has faced the Ducks before in a Kings uniform but during the preseason where he dropped the gloves, giving fans at STAPLES Center a precursor for what was to come.
Lucic has 11 goals and 15 assists so far this season and while he has recorded three assists over the course of his last two outings, is goalless in his last five. Also, in nine career games against Anaheim, Lucic has yet to register a point, recording a -5 rating. Those games, however, were with the Bruins so we will see if the nature of this hostile rivalry will help matters.
Jake Muzzin enters Sunday’s matchup riding a six-game point streak while Tyler Toffoli has 10 goals in his last 14 outings. Whatever happens, the Kings need a solid 60-minute to upend a suddenly-resurgent Ducks club.
There really isn’t much else to say to inflate the excitement of this rivalry, but let’s drop the puck and tune in for another exciting affair between the Kings and Ducks.
Enjoy the game!