Los Angeles Kings vs Anaheim Ducks (PHOTO CREDIT: USA TODAY Sports)

Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles Kings Series Preview

 

For the first time in history the geographic rivalry that is the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will face each other in a playoff series.

 

SEASON SERIES

The Anaheim Ducks dominated the season series head to head.  After the Kings won the first matchup in overtime, the Ducks took the next 4 meetings, with the last one coming in overtime.

 

THE MATCHUPS

Goaltending

There is no doubt as to who the man is for the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Quick struggled in the first three games against the Sharks, but was back to his normal self over the last 4.  As a result his numbers are inflated, but he is on a 4 game winning streak, allowing just 4 goals in those 4 games.

For the Anaheim Ducks, there are still question marks surrounding who is the best option in net. Frederik Andersen started the series but he was pulled twice in the first round series with the Stars.  Jonas Hiller came in to relieve him and was credited with the win after the Ducks comeback in game 7.

Defense

Drew Doughty had his struggles early on, which is a big reason the Kings struggled in the first round.  As he goes, so will the Kings blue line because he carries the play so much.  Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin have been good, but Slava Voynov has yet to show the stellar play that he showed last spring.

From the Ducks perspective, Francois Beauchemin and Cam Fowler lead the Ducks blue line that was hit hard by injuries to Stephane Robidas and Hampus Lindholm in the first round.  Robidas is out for the rest of the playoffs while Lindholm could return at any time.

Offense

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are the engines for the Ducks offense.  The Ducks go as they go, and there isn’t a ton of support that can be counted on every night.  They have gotten some offense from Nick Bonino and Mathieu PerreaultTeemu Selanne hasn’t done much (3 assists), and was scratched for a game.

Anze Kopitar tied for the first round lead in scoring with 10 points, far and away the highest total on the Kings. Justin Williams is clutch in the playoffs and they have also got solid contribution from Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli.

Special Teams

Both teams were very similar on the special teams, with each power play at or just above 25%, while both were over 87% on the penalty kill. 

PREDICTION

The Kings are built for the playoffs, and are solid from first to fourth line.  The Ducks have the higher top end offensive talent, but the injuries on the blue line and the questions in goal are alarming.

LOS ANGELES KINGS  in 7

 

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Tags: Anze Kopitar Corey Perry Jonathan Quick NHL Playoffs Preview Ryan Getzlaf

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