LA Kings-Anaheim Ducks: It’s Still Early, But Anze Kopitar Is Winning The Matchup With Ryan Getzlaf

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to audio of May 6 interviews with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Matt Greene, Jeff Schultz, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ANAHEIM AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into the second round playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, a matchup that Southern California hockey fans have been waiting twenty years for, much of the hype focused on the battle between two of the National Hockey League’s best centers, Anze Kopitar of the Kings, and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks.

Getzlaf is a finalist for this season’s Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, while Kopitar is a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defensive forward.

Looking at their offensive numbers, Getzlaf is fifth in playoff scoring with three goals and seven assists for ten points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and six penalty minutes in seven playoff games.

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Jeff Schultz Puts In Solid Performance In Fill-In Role For LA Kings

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to post-game audio of interviews with Dustin Brown, Alec Martinez, Jeff Schultz, head coaches Darryl Sutter and Bruce Boudreau. Also listen to the pre-game press conference with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman.


LA Kings defenseman Jeff Schultz

ANAHEIM, CA — With veteran, stay-at-home defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr unavailable due to injury, the Los Angeles Kings were forced to turn to a player who had not played in a National Hockey League game since March 31, 2013, when he was with the Washington Capitals.

Along the same lines, the Kings turned to a player who spent the entire season (aside from a couple of brief recalls to the Kings; he did not play) with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.

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2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Los Angeles Kings Are Really Offensive

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (foreground center)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings prepared for tonight’s Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks, they knew that despite winning Game 1, they must play considerably better than they did, if they expect to win Game 2, let alone advance to the Western Conference Finals.

In Game 1, the Kings found themselves hemmed into their own zone by the Ducks for extended periods, much of that caused by their own mistakes.

“I thought our puck management wasn’t great,” said right wing Justin Williams. “I didn’t think our forecheck was great. I think all around, everyone has areas to improve on and myself, personally, also.”

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LA Kings-Anaheim Ducks: Second Round Playoff Series Preview

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Includes audio of May 2 post-practice interviews with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, forward Dustin Brown, defenseman Jake Muzzin, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (right) shined during the first round playoff series
against the San Jose Sharks, much to the surprise of many fans.

 

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With all the talk over the past couple of days about a true rivalry that will be established between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, now that the two teams are finally meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the anticipation going into the series is palpable.

But beyond the hype, the game is played on the ice, and one team must win four games to advance to the conference finals.

For the Kings to accomplish that goal, they must clamp down defensively on the team that led the National Hockey League offensively during the regular season, averaging 3.21 goals per game, compared to the Kings’ 2.42 goals per game (ranked 26th in the league).

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Finally…A True LA Kings-Anaheim Ducks Rivalry Is About To Be Born

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Includes audio of May 1 media conference call with Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll, defenseman Matt Greene, and head coach Darryl Sutter..


LA Kings center Jarret Stoll.
(click above to view larger image)

LOS ANGELES — When the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim became a National Hockey League team in the 1993-94 season a rivalry was born between them and their neighbor, who played about 35 miles north, the Los Angeles Kings.

Since that time, whether it was at what was then the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, the Kings’ first permanent home, to the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, now known as Honda Center, and then to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles, there is a lot more trash talking between fans than usual when the two teams go head-to-head.

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