With the biggest ever regular season edition of the Freeway Faceoff set to close the 2015-16 season series between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings tonight at STAPLES Center, lets take a look at some of the noteworthy bits of information for the day.
First, official confirmation of what pretty much everyone expected:
To no one's surprise, John Gibson exits the ice first as the morning skate at Staples winds down.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 7, 2016
John Gibson for his career, regular season and playoffs, is 6-3-0 against the Angelenos with a .918 save percentage and one shutout. The Ducks have allowed an average of 29.26 shots against per 60 minutes in those games, which is a higher workload than Gibson has faced on average this season.
There appears to be a timetable in place for the return of Frederik Andersen, who has not played since sustaining a concussion in the March 30 game against Calgary.
Andersen said his goal is to play this weekend. BB called Washington game "the ideal situation, I think, at this stage" for him.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 7, 2016
Before sustaining the injury, Andersen had seen his play start to cool after putting together a stretch of 13-0-2 in 17 appearances from January 1 through March 5 with a .921 SV%. In the six appearances since, beginning with the loss to St. Louis on March 11 that broke the streak, Andersen went 3-1-1 but posted a .886 SV%.
A couple quotes from Freddie at the link:
Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen wants to play at least once before the playoffs begin. (Blog post) https://t.co/9eIQKnh1Cy— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) April 7, 2016
Meanwhile there was also an update to the status for Rickard Rakell:
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau says Rickard Rakell hasn't resumed skating after undergoing appendectomy.— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) April 7, 2016
BB said he's hopeful that Rickard Rakell (appendix) is able to get back on the ice this weekend. Hope is he'll be back for Game 1.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 7, 2016
A quick hitter update on Brandon Pirri as well:
Hasn't been skating with team. No timetable yet. https://t.co/eqyEdd7IpD— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) April 7, 2016
Bruce also had an expected response to the question of whether the Nashville Predators or San Jose Sharks are a more appealing first round matchup:
Boudreau on facing Nashville or San Jose: "Pick your poison."— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) April 7, 2016
Finally for the Ducks, Jakob Silfverberg acknowledged the extra fun that comes with playing against Los Angeles at STAPLES Center:
Ducks' @jsilfverberg33 on atmosphere he expects at Staples Center tonight: 'They’ve got some funny stuff going but we love these games— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) April 7, 2016
and the fans love them too. They get into them a little extra. It’s a kind of playoff atmosphere and it’s always a lot of fun.'— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) April 7, 2016
On the Kings side of things, an early look at possible line combinations from their morning skate in El Segundo:
G'morning from #Gundo. First rushes showed 17-11-70, 23-77-73, 74-44-22, 13-15-10; 3-8, 6-52, 7-5. Martinez not on ice.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) April 7, 2016
Also, some pregame words from coach Darryl Sutter:
Darryl Sutter morning skate quotes: https://t.co/NGEgK9IWt8— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) April 7, 2016
Dustin Brown had an interesting acknowledgement of the difference between Los Angeles down the stretch this season versus last season:
More Dustin Brown: 'This is the type of fun we missed out on last year....I think mentally and physically last year we were (more)— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) April 7, 2016
a pretty tired team considering the run we had but on the emotional side of it you want to be playing. You know what you’re missing out on.— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) April 7, 2016
And finally, apparently Angeleno leading goal scorer Tyler Toffoli likes cupcakes. Read about it:
Tyler Toffoli on how his love of cupcakes somehow went viral https://t.co/Ijx0SrcIOg— Josh Cooper (@JoshuaCooper) April 7, 2016
We're four and a half hours from puck drop, be sure to check back for the GameThread ahead of the 7:30 puck drop.