Kings, Ducks look to separate their fates

Kings, Ducks look to separate their fates

That pack mentality the Los Angeles Kings and Ducks have operated under the past five seasons will be put to the test Friday when the Southern California neighbors square off for a key game at Anaheim, Calif.The franchise arcs have been strikingly similar of late. Each team last made the playoffs in the 2017-18 season and both fell in the first round. The next three seasons, neither team could finish better than sixth in the Pacific Division.And while another rebuilding season for both was expected, each team has managed to show that a brighter future is ahead. In fact, the fifth-place Ducks can pull even with the third-place Kings on points with a victory Friday.It is the Kings, though, who enter with more momentum. Los Angeles has won the first three games on a four-game road swing that concludes Friday and has come out on top in five of its past six games in a run that pre-dates the extended All-Star break.After they rallied for a 4-3 overtime road victory over the second-place Vegas Golden Knights last Friday, the Kings took a back-to-back at Arizona by scores of 5-3 on Saturday and 3-2 on Wednesday when Viktor Arvidsson scored a pair of goals, including the game winner with 3:39 remaining.The Kings are now 7-1-2 over their past 10 games.”I think we’re really hard to play against, we’re on the puck all time and that frustrates the other team. I think that’s our strength,” Arvidsson said. “We take pucks to the net and we create offensive chances and play really solid defensively.”The Kings have been splitting time in goal equally between Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick of late, with Quick likely to get the call Friday after Petersen started both games at Arizona.The Kings were able to neutralize the Coyotes’ speed and figure to use the same tactic against budding young Ducks stars such as Troy Terry (26 goals, 18 assists), Trevor Zegras (13 goals, 26 assists) and Sonny Milano (11 goals, 18 assists).

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