Ducks-Kings Preview

The Associated Press

The Anaheim Ducks have surrendered the opening goal in each of their last four games, but that still hasn't slowed them down.

Doing that against the surging Los Angeles Kings just might.

The visiting Ducks would like to get on the scoreboard first as they try to match the longest winning streak in franchise history at seven Monday night against the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

Anaheim (13-2-1) has the second-best record in the NHL behind Chicago, but the Ducks' success hasn't come according to plan.

They've given up the first goal in 11 games, but are 8-2-1 in those contests with wins in each of their last four, including Sunday's 4-3 overtime victory against Colorado. Anaheim fell behind by two goals in the opening period before rallying and getting the decisive tally from Corey Perry with 45.4 seconds left in the extra session to begin a stretch of five games in seven days.

"A good sign is that we have been finding a way to win the games and come from behind that makes this team really strong," right wing Teemu Selanne said. "It's a good feeling when you have that confidence, but we can make these games a little easier by having better starts and playing 60 minutes."

Though they haven't made it easy on themselves, the Ducks have won six games in a row, one shy of the franchise record set from Feb. 20-March 7, 1999.

Matching that run against the Kings (8-6-2) might be a tall order since Los Angeles has won three in a row and five of six while yielding only one goal in each of those victories.

"To me, that's the ultimate test," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They're playing like they did in the playoffs last year. I watch every one of their games, and they're just flat-out good.

"They're as good a test as you're going to find."

Anaheim won the first season meeting 7-4 at home on Feb. 2 behind an unlikely hat trick from center Nick Bonino, who has scored once in nine games since.

The Ducks are 7-1-1 on the road, but have dropped the last three visits to Staples Center. The most recent was a 4-2 defeat on March 3, when Anaheim gave up the first goal.

Ryan Getzlaf has eight points - all assists - over his last 11 games at Los Angeles, but he enters this meeting with three goals and five assists in five games.

The Kings are looking to continue capitalizing on a home-heavy stretch after 10 players managed at least a point in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Avalanche. That was the beginning of a stretch of 13 of 16 at Staples Center.

"We've got a lot of home games coming up, so we've got to try and bank these points and win games," center Jarret Stoll said. "Everybody on the team has their roles, and there are certain guys on the team that need goals and points to get their confidence going.

"Confidence is a funny thing. It comes and goes. And when you have it, you've got to try to keep it."

Jeff Carter certainly has it, scoring five goals in the past six games, including one in each of the last three. The right wing scored twice in the most recent home meeting with the Ducks.

Dustin Brown also had a goal in that matchup, and got two more against the Kings' southern California rivals earlier this month.

Jonathan Quick is 6-1-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average at home versus Anaheim, but he was chased after surrendering two goals to Bonino on the first three shots earlier this month.

What to Read Next