Ducks at Kings Freeway Faceoff – pregame primer

Tonight will be game number 103 between the Kings and Ducks.

Last year, Anaheim took the season series four games to two.

Through 17 games played by each team, the scales are titled towards the Kings – they have more wins (8 to 6), points (19 to 15), have scored more goals per game (2.41 to a league low 2.00), given up fewer goals per game (2.24 to 2.82), have a better power play (20.3% conversion to 13.6) and have won a greater percentage of faceoffs (51.9% to 46.6%).

What does all of that mean? Not much. The Ducks come in having won the last three games played between the two clubs, including the last two in Los Angeles.

Don’t expect a heavyweight fight tonight either. George Parros is out recovering from eye surgery. Kevin Westgarth will be a healthy scratch.  (If you want to read a great story about Parros and a Chewbacca suit when he was a Kings prospect playing in Manchester, click here.)

Over the summer, Mike Richards was on MayorsManor talking about his relationship with Corey Perry (here) – which followed up Bobby Ryan talking about his friendship with several Kings players (here) the previous off season.

Still, don’t expect a love fest out on the ice. The tension has been growing between these two teams over the last few years.

Pregame Points:

– Jack Johnson has 23 hits against the Ducks, more than he’s recorded against any other NHL team.

Anze Kopitar scored his first career goal against the Ducks – in his first NHL game – back on October 6, 2006.  He’s gone on to score a total of 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 30 games versus Anaheim.

– Five Kings forwards don’t know much about the Ducks.  Richards has only played them six times (one goal, four assists).  Eight games for winger Simon Gagne (three goals, five assists).  Colin Fraser has seen them 12 times, but has only two assists to show for it.  Trent Hunter has played in six games against the Ducks, picking up three points (two goals, one assist).

– Russians Andrei Loktionov and Slava Voynov haven’t played a single minutes against the Ducks in a regular season NHL game. They did see the Ducks during pre-season this year, with Loktionov scoring a goal in a 3-1 loss.

– The official hashtag on twitter tonight is #FreewayFaceoff – use it when talking about the game and watch SoCal hockey top the trend chart.

– We’ll also have a special contest tonight, open to all Kings and Ducks fans.  Before the puck drops at 7:30 pm PST, post your guess for the final score tonight in the comments section below (using your facebook profile or by signing in to the website – either way, it’s super easy).  One random winner will be selected from all correct guesses and they’ll win a free t-shirt from Glass Bangers.  Good luck!

To get you ready for the game, be sure to check out a few of the other Kings-Ducks articles that have appeared on MayorsManor over the last season or so…

Kings vs Ducks: the first time it mattered this much

Kings prospect Ray Kaunisto calls Ducks fan ‘a lost cause’

In the plans:  LA Kings vs Anaheim Ducks outdoor game

LA Kings players on favorite moments in Anaheim

Dustin Penner on the Penner Cup – Kings vs. Ducks, March 2011

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.