Ducks at Kings Game 3 Preview: Now or Never

Harry How

The Anaheim Ducks head to Los Angeles to battle the Kings at Staples Center in what can only be labeled as a season-defining must-win game.

Keys to the Game: As much as we thought game two was a "must-win" for the Anaheim Ducks... game three is about twenty times as much. The Ducks blew game one with seven seconds remaining and then got flat out shut down in game two and as a result trail the series 2-0, losing both of the first two games at home. In terms of playoff faux pas, that's about as big as they get.

At this point the entire series looks pretty grim. The Los Angeles Kings appear to have full control of the series, and appear to be happy to let the Ducks come at them while stifling any decent shots and allowing very little in the way of quality shots against. What chances they have earned have been almost entirely stifled by a red-hot Jonathan Quick.

And now they're going home to their home ice where if things continue the way they have, they're in good shape to sweep the Ducks out of the playoffs.

I believe I'm not alone in saying after this wonderful season, getting booted from the playoffs in such an embarrassing fashion would be a major disappointment.

What Can We Learn From this Game: The biggest and perhaps oddest story of the series so far is how badly the Ducks have outpossessed the Kings, who are normally a top possession team, and yet the results have still favored the Kings completely.

Logic dictates that if the Ducks can keep their possession and physical play up then things should turn for the better, but likewise the Ducks need to start getting some quality chances on Quick. And it's only going to get tougher with the Kings now getting the ability to line match. Expect a lot of Drew Doughty vs. Ryan Getzlaf, a matchup that so far has gone the direction of the Kings.

The depth of the Ducks is once again going to have to come through, and more so than it has so far. The lack of execution has cost Anaheim, and that's going to have to change if the Ducks want to have any chance at winning.

What can we learn? Well perhaps it's a question we've seen several times before with mixed results: can the Ducks overcome their biggest adversity so far to save their season?

Fearless Prediction: Sobbing. Tons and tons of loud, obnoxious sobbing for two and a half hours.

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the day (lineup news, etc.) and start commenting. We'll have a quick stats pack shortly before puck drop for the in-game comments to flow.

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