Thursday's game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will mark the second meeting of the two Southern California rivals this season.
The Ducks beat the Kings 7-4 in a wild game on Feb. 2 (highlights below), behind forward Nick Bonino's first career hat trick. Bonino has scored just one goal in nine games since.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was pulled after giving up two goals on just the first three shots he faced that evening. After a slow start to the season, the reigning Conn Smythe winner has put together a couple of solid efforts, allowing just one goal in each of his last two starts. Quick, who is 6-1-2 with a 1.95 goals against average in nine career home starts against the Ducks, is likely to start in net Monday night.
Los Angeles enters on a three-game winning streak that has improved it's record to 8-6-2 overall. Center Anze Kopitar leads the team with 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) through 15 games, and forward Jeff Carter holds the team lead in goals with nine in 16 games this season. Carter has scored five goals in the last six games, and one in each of the past three.
The Kings have picked up the physical play as of late, led by captain Dustin Brown, who recorded nine hits in the team's 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
The visiting Ducks have also built up a winning streak of their own, emerging victorious in their last six consecutive games, and they are only one win shy of tying the franchise record set in 1999. Anaheim will try to match the record of seven straight wins Monday evening against their SoCal opponent. At 13-2-1, the Ducks currently hold the second-best record in the NHL, behind only the Chicago Blackhawks, who still have not lost a game in regulation this season.
Center Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists), while 42-year-old veteran Teemu Selanne is right behind him with 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) through 16 games this season.
Anaheim's rookie goaltender, Viktor Fasth, will likely start in net against the Kings. He is currently undefeated at 8-0-0, becoming only the third goalie in NHL history to win his first eight-or-more career decisions. Fasth, who just last week signed a two-year $5.8 million extension, has posted a 1.78 goals against average and .933 save percentage in nine appearances this season.
The Kings will host the Ducks on Monday at 7:30 PM PST
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