The Los Angeles Kings and host Anaheim Ducks occupy the bottom two spots in the Pacific Division but enter their Thursday meeting in the Freeway Faceoff series feeling better about themselves. Anaheim won at Minnesota 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday after dropping a pair of decisions by the same score to Washington and at Winnipeg, while Los Angeles comes in off a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers that snapped a four-game slide.
"We've been in a lot of close games lately and coming out on top of this one, it's a huge deal for us," Ducks forward Rickard Rakell told reporters after scoring his ninth goal of the season, and in the shootout. "Just the environment, feeling in the room, even though we have been playing well but we lost close games - at the end of the day we lose - so being on top of this one feels great." Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is rounding into form as he's allowed five goals in three December games with a .930 save percentage this month after stopping 29 shots Tuesday. Los Angeles and Anaheim have scored the fourth- and fifth-fewest goals in the league and own only three players - the Ducks' Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Getzlaf, and the Kings' Anze Kopitar - with at least 10 goals. Anaheim prevailed 4-2 on Dec. 2 in the first of five meetings this season behind a pair of goals from Derek Grant.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE KINGS (12-18-2): Los Angeles needs more from Tyler Toffoli, who halted a nine-game scoreless drought with his seventh goal of the season Tuesday. "I know that I need to play better, and I stepped up tonight and thought I had a good night," Toffoli told reporters. Kopitar leads the team with 11 goals and 29 points but has been kept off the scoresheet in six of his last seven games.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (13-14-4): Getzlaf scored his 10th goal and boasts four assists during a four-game point streak, and has recorded 13 of his team-high 25 points in the last 11 contests. Silfverberg recorded two of his 11 goals in the last four games and has 21 points along with Rakell, who owns a goal and two assists in four December contests. Max Comtois has been kept off the scoresheet in six games since recording two goals and five points in nine October contests, but scored the deciding goal Tuesday in his first career shootout attempt.
1. Anaheim D Josh Manson on Tuesday returned after missing 19 games with a lower-body injury and was a minus-2 in 21 minutes, 8 seconds of ice time.
2. The Ducks are 2-for-19 with the man advantage in their last eight games and own the second-worst power play in the league while the Kings have the third-worst unit, raising their success rate to 12.5 percent after going 3-for-21 in the past nine contests.
3. Grant has scored five of his eight goals this season in two games - recording his first career hat trick in a 4-1 victory at St. Louis on Nov. 16 - and has 24 in 239 career contests.