We have arrived. Welcome to the final regular-season home game of the 2021-22 campaign. The LA Kings are just two wins away from clinching their first playoff spot since the 2017-18 season.
The Kings handled the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, 4-1. Phillip Danault opened the scoring in the first period, with Anze Kopitar following in the middle frame. Andreas Athanasiou scored on a breakaway in the third period, and Trevor Moore added the dagger 15 seconds later.
The Ducks last played these Kings on Tuesday, with Adam Henrique tallying the lone goal for Anaheim. Dallas Eakins‘ club has been eliminated from postseason contention, but they would love to play spoiler for their division rivals.
Here’s how the two teams stack up on paper:
LAK: Anze Kopitar – 19 goals, 45 assists, 64 points
ANA: Troy Terry – 36 goals, 28 assists, 64 points
Per our friends at Draft Kings, Los Angeles comes into this one as big favorites.
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- Kings Odds: -260
- Ducks Odds: +205
- Over/Under: 6.0
- Time: 7:30 pm PT
- Broadcast Info: BSW, KCOP-13, ESPN+
Here’s how the Kings aligned in Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Blackhawks:
Jonathan Quick made his fifth straight start and has a 1.00 GAA over his last three. Todd McLellan already stated after Thursday’s win that the future Hall-of-Famer is expected to make it six straight.
Quinton Byfield and Carl Grundstrom drew in for Brendan Lemieux and Rasmus Kupari against Chicago. Byfield led all skaters with an 81.20 xGF%, and Grundstrom was right behind him at 79.96 xGF% (Natural Stat Trick). While neither registered a point on the scoresheet, they certainly pushed the pace of play.
Let’s see if there are any lineup tweaks in advance of puck drop.
Here’s how the Ducks lined up last time out in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Los Angeles:
Of course, with nothing left to play for, all eyes are on Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf, who will be playing in his final game at Staples Center/Crypto.com Arena. If you recall, Getzlaf tapped Quick on the pads following the final horn for a job well done on Tuesday.
I would expect the LA Kings to give Getzlaf a proper sendoff with post-game handshakes.
Sunday will mark his final NHL game.
Kings and Ducks will get underway for the final time this season, with puck drop set for 7:30 pm PT.
(Main photo credit: Alex Cave / Hockey Royalty)