The Anaheim Ducks’ string of 12 consecutive games in California comes to an end Saturday as they attempt to avoid a third straight loss when they visit the Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim has begun the month with nine home contests, including Friday’s 4-1 setback against Winnipeg, and two games in San Jose.
Defenseman Francois Beauchemin returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two games and scored his first goal of the season for the Ducks, who are beginning a six-game road trip and riding a four-game point streak away from home (3-0-1) - with the last three contests going to shootouts. Los Angeles has relinquished first place in the Pacific Division to expansion Vegas thanks to a 1-6-1 stretch. The Kings suffered their ninth setback in 12 contests (3-7-2) on Friday, when they dropped a 3-2 overtime decision in Arizona. Captain Anze Kopitar scored his 10th goal in the defeat to tie Tyler Toffoli for the team lead and is four assists away from 500 for his career.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, KCOP-13 (Anaheim), FSN West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (10-9-3): Mike Liambas recorded an assist Friday for his first point in five career NHL games. With the 28-year-old left wing landing on the scoresheet, 25 of the 28 skaters for Anaheim this season have registered a point. Rickard Rakell leads the team with 18 points but has been blanked in each of his last two contests.
ABOUT THE KINGS (12-8-3): Marian Gaborik made his season debut Friday and notched an assist. The 35-year-old Slovakian, who finally returned from the knee surgery he underwent in April, is closing in on a number of career milestones as he needs four goals for 400, two assists for the same amount, six points for 800 and 10 games for 1,000. Torrey Mitchell was not in the lineup against the Coyotes after being acquired for a conditional 2018 draft pick a day earlier from Montreal, where he failed to record a point in 11 games this season.
1. Ducks G Ryan Miller dressed as the backup Friday after missing five games with a lower-body injury, allowing the team to assign Reto Berra to San Diego of the American Hockey League.
2. Los Angeles D Drew Doughty notched an assist Friday, giving him a point in four of his last five games.
3. Anaheim LW Andrew Cogliano is three assists shy of 200 for his career while RW Jakob Silfverberg is three away from 100.
PREDICTION: Ducks 3, Kings 2