Ducks, Kings to renew "Freeway Faceoff" rivalry

From FOX Sports - January 12, 2018

LOS ANGELESThe Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks return from their league-mandated five-day break by renewing their Freeway Faceoff rivalry Saturday night at Staples Center.

The Kings (24-13-5) will try to build on their success over their arch-rivals in an effort to snap a two-game losing streak.

Los Angeles has won both matchups this season, 4-3 in overtime in Anaheim on Nov. 7 and 2-1 in a shootout at home Nov. 25 but may be missing a key defenseman Saturday.

Jake Muzzin, who was placed on injured reserve Jan. 5 with an undisclosed injury and despite the expectation that he would return after the league mandated five days off, did not practice with the team Friday. Muzzin had not missed a game until his absence in Los Angeles 4-3loss to the Nashville Predators on Jan. 6.

Among the healthy Kings scheduled to play will be three All-Stars. Center Anze Kopitar, defenseman Drew Doughty and goaltender Jonathan Quick were named the Pacific Division All Star roster on Wednesday. The trio is expected to be in attendance in Tampa, Fla., to participate in festivities during the weekend of Jan. 28-29. The players earned their berths will solid first-half performances under coach John Stevens, who affirmed their selections.

Were obviously thrilled for those guys, Stevens said. Its great to see those guys rewarded for their quality play to this point. I think all three of them are a huge part of our success in the first half of the year, and I know theyre excited that the three of them get to go together.

The Kings recalled defenseman Kevin Gravel on Friday from its AHL Ontario affiliate. The rookie defenseman was sent down to keep him sharp ahead of the teams second-half push toward the postseason. Gravel has appeared in three games this season with the Kings, registering one assist. This will be his third recall of the season.

The Ducks (19-15-8) locked one of their core depth players Friday, announcing a three-year extension through the 2020-21 season for winger Andrew Cogliano, the NHLs current iron man. Since entering the NHL for the 2006-07 season with the Edmonton Oilers, Cogliano has not a missed a game and is expected to play in his 890th consecutive contest (playoffs included) against Los Angeles. He talked about the mechanics of the deal coming together during the teams hiatus.

It happened quickly, took maybe a day or two, Cogliano said. (General manager) Bob Murray assessed the team and me and wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. I was estatic when Bob called, I have a great time here and am proud to be a Duck.


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