Manor Projected Lineups: Kings at Anaheim Ducks, the Final Chrome Dome Game?


They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
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Win and they’re in. It really is that simple for the Kings on Tuesday.

With just five games remaining on their 2023-24 regular season docket, LA stands at the doorstep of an important milestone. Winners of three straight, Jim Hiller’s Kings will head down the 5 Freeway tonight for their final matchup with the Ducks. And although Orange County’s team is already counting down the days until summer, it’s a contest carrying plenty of importance for the road team.

Through all the hills and valleys, twists and turns, and inconsistencies of the past six months, LA can punch their playoff ticket for the third straight season with a win tonight. It’s been a wild ride to get to this point, but the reality from the very beginning was that GM Rob Blake built a team for — and is looking for — playoff success. They’re now on the verge of taking that first step.

Before Game 83 on April 20, LA will look to keep winning hockey games in order to solidly a higher seeding for the postseason. Coming into play tonight they find themselves in third place in the Pacific Division. A win over Anaheim would put some breathing room between them and the Golden Knights, who trail the Kings by just one point. It’s too early to predict who LA’s first-round opponent will be, yet fate seems to be pointing to a third consecutive matchup with Connor McDavid and the Oilers. No matter who it ultimately winds up being, the priority of the moment is to keep playing solid hockey over the next 10 days.

With Phil Danault returning to action over the weekend, Hiller finally saw a lineup that was as close to a playoff lineup as the Kings have seen all season. Further, Carl Grundstrom’s return is looming; perhaps making the Kings healthy and dangerous as the first round approaches.

While nothing is confirmed as of yet, we’re projecting the following goaltender rotation to round out the regular season:

vs. Anaheim – David Rittich
vs. Calgary – Cam Talbot
vs. Anaheim – Rittich
vs. Minnesota – Talbot
vs. Chicago – Rittich

If this holds, Talbot should be well rested come playoff time.

Statistically Speaking

— Quinton Byfield desperately wants to get to 20 goals. He’s been sitting on 19 for quite some time and even was a talking point for both player and coach last week. Interestingly enough, Byfield has already scored against the Ducks in Anaheim this season (back on Nov. 24). It marked Byfield’s first career goal against the Ducks. And one more note, tonight will give him 10 games played vs. Anaheim, which will tie the high water mark he recently reached against Edmonton. Colorado and Vegas sit next on the list with nine games each. Which team has he faced the least? Toronto and Ottawa, just twice each — and both happened this season.

— In 161 career games vs. the Ducks, the Kings hold a 76-57-17 record when there has actually been a winner of the contest. Back when it was allowed, 11 games also ended in a tie.

— Just over half the games have been played in Anaheim (81). From the Arrowhead Pond days to the more current Honda Center naming, the Kings hold a 33-32-9 record, along with seven ties.

— Among the 32 skaters who have suited up for both franchises are well-known names like Tomas Sandstrom, Jari Kurri, and Sean O’Donnell. Over the past decade or so, though, it hasn’t been that common for a guy to get an NHL game with the Kings and Ducks. In fact, only six players have done it since 2014. Who was the last player to turn the SoCal hockey trick? Defenseman Austin Strand played five games for the Ducks in 2022-23. However, he didn’t face in LA during his brief stop in Anaheim. Thus, a sub-trivia question would be who was the last Kings-Ducks player to face his former team while wearing the other squads jersey? That would also be a defenseman, it was Ben Hutton in 2020-21. He faced the Kings three times that season and scored his only goal of the year against LA on March 8 in Anaheim.

— Doubling up is even more rare among goalies, as only two netminders have played for both franchises in over 30 years: Jason LaBarbera (2015) and Jonathan Bernier (2017).

— When the Kings take the ice tonight in Anaheim, they’ll be wearing their popular chrome helmets and ’90s throwback jerseys for the final time this season. This year, they’re 8-4-2 when donning their alternate uniform kit (per LA Kings Uniform History). Since the look was first introduced in 2021, the Kings hold a 20-12-5 record when going with the chrome domes.

What happens next season? That’s the big question that is yet to be answered, as the ’90s era jerseys will be retired after this game. Then, over the summer, the team will roll out a new look for their 2024-25 campaign. More information on those plans can be found here:

Kings Projected Lineup vs. Ducks

Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Fiala – Dubois – Laferriere
Thomas – Lizotte – Lewis

Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence

Rittich (starter)

Possible scratches: Kaliyev, Moverare

LTIR: Copley (out for the year), Grundstrom (eligible to return when medically cleared), Turcotte (min. April 12)

Key Game Info

Puck drop is set for 7:00 pm Pacific Time and will be televised by KCAL.

Across the Ice

Anaheim is coming off a 6-5 defeat shootout loss to St. Louis on Sunday.

Here’s how they lined up for that one:

Killorn – Carlsson – Terry
Vatrano – Zegras – Strome
Nesterenko – Lundestrom – Silfverberg
Johnston – Meyers – Leason

Fowler – Zellweger
Lacombe – Gudas
Vaakanainen – Lindstrom


In their last 10 games, the Ducks are 2-6-2. As the home team, they’re 11-25-3 this season.

On This Day in Kings History

On April 9, 1981, the @LAKings and New York Rangers combined for what was then an NHL playoff record 267 penalty minutes in Game 2 of the first round. Dave Taylor scored three points, and Larry Murphy scored his first career playoff goal in a 5-4 win for the #LAKings.#GoKingsGo

— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) April 9, 2024


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