Anaheim goes for the exhibition series sweep against Los Angeles tonight at STAPLES Center, looking for a third straight win and to take both meetings against the Kings for the first time since the 2008-09 preseason.
The last time the Ducks won the first preseason meeting was in 11-12, a 3-1 win at STAPLES Center followed by a 3-1 loss at Honda Center. In that meeting the Ducks iced a primarily youth lineup against LA's veteran-laden squad, getting goals from Kyle Palmieri, Andrew Gordon, and Patrick Maroon as Jeff Deslauriers made 32 saves to out-duel Jonathan Quick. Anaheim is 3-4-2 in exhibition games in Los Angeles since the 05-06 season, with wins in 07-08, 08-09 (shootout), and 11-12.
Jiri Sekac - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie - Chris Wagner - Chris Stewart
Max Friberg - Shawn Horcoff - Mike Santorelli
Hampus Lindholm - Kevin Bieksa
Cam Fowler - Simon Despres
Josh Manson - Sami Vatanen
Anton Khudobin / Frederik Andersen
Milan Lucic - Jeff Carter - Trevor Lewis
Dwight King - Nick Shore - Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson - Jordan Weal - Michael Mersch
Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Jordan Nolan
Alec Martinez - Drew Doughty
Jeff Schultz - Christian Ehrhoff
Brayden McNabb - Jamie McBain
Jhonas Enroth / Jonathan Quick
Scratches: Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, Brian O'Neill, Derek Forbort, Vincent LoVerde
The Ducks official website noted that there is nothing physically wrong with winger Carl Hagelin, who did not participate in any of the public scrimmages at training camp and has yet to make his preseason debut with the club. He is expected to play in the final two exhibition games at Honda Center; October 1 vs Colorado and October 3 vs San Jose.
As was covered yesterday, the Ducks have trimmed their roster to 34, with Ritchie, Friberg, Wagner and Michael Sgarbossa amongst the notables to remain with the club after 17 were assigned to the San Diego Gulls training camp roster. There was some concern as Friberg was placed on waivers, as were Sgarbossa and Matt Hackett, but Ducks fans can breathe easy as Hockey Night In Canada's Elliotte Friedman reported that all have cleared.
Khudobin's impressive 23-save performance against the Sharks on Saturday has earned him another look in net as he'll get the start tonight. The only other appearance of his career against the Kings came during the 13-14 season, as he made 28 saves for the Hurricanes in a 2-1 defeat at STAPLES Center. Mike Richards and Martinez scored for the hosts, with Richards' coming from the bottom of the right face off circle in the final minute of the first period, and Martinez scoring on a power play from the right inside hashmarks near the midway point of the third for the winner.
Los Angeles picked up a 2-1 shootout win in Denver against the Avalanche on Sunday, with Mersch scoring the lone Kings goal in the first period from Nolan on one of his team-high seven shots. Peter Budaj replaced Quick and made seven saves to earn the win, making goals by Pearson and Brown stand up in the skills competition. This is LA's final preseason game at STAPLES Center, before they head to Las Vegas for their annual Frozen Fury game against Colorado on Saturday, October 3.
Pearson leads all King scorers with four points, all assists, through the preseason, while Mersch, Shore, Toffoli, and Weal each have a pair of goals. Kings Insider has an interesting post with quotes from LA coach Darryl Sutter, touching on implementing systems in preseason with young players, three-on-three overtime, and how his staff has been preparing for the coach's challenge.