The Ducks could find it even tougher to win tonight on the road when Kings head coach Darryl Sutter makes his anticipated debut. The Ducks are winless in their last 12 road games -- a franchise low -- and haven't prevailed away from home since a 3-2 win at Minnesota on Oct. 27. They are 2-10-4 on the road this season and last in the Pacific Division -- 11 points behind Los Angeles, which is currently fourth in the standings.
Anaheim has lost three in a row overall and has only four wins in its last 24 games. It has dropped the first three tests of a five-game road trip and suffered a 5-3 setback at Dallas on Monday. Teemu Selanne, Lubomir Visnovsky and Nick Bonino all scored in the second period for the Ducks, who got 28 saves on 33 shots by goaltender Jonas Miller.
"Seems like whenever we make a mistake, it's always in the back of our net," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who is 2-6-1 since taking over the team. "We come out good for short periods of time, then all of a sudden we get out of the game plan. I don't know if the focus is lost or what."
The Ducks have given up 14 goals during their losing streak and will close out the swing Monday at San Jose. Selanne is riding a nine-game point streak (3g, 10a), which is tied for the longest such streak in the NHL this season. Corey Perry has eight goals and 10 assists in his last 16 games.
Meanwhile, Sutter was officially named head coach of the Kings on Tuesday and will make his debut this evening. He has guided an NHL team to the playoffs in 10 of 11 seasons as a head coach and takes over for Terry Murray, who was fired December 12 following a 13-12-4 start. John Stevens coached the Kings on an interim basis for the last four games (2-2-0).
Sutter inherits a team that is coming off a 3-2 shootout victory at Toronto on Monday in the finale of a four-game series. Dustin Brown scored the only goal of the shootout and added a tally in regulation, while Justin Williams lit the lamp for Los Angeles, which got 31 saves from Jonathan Quick.
"We have a bunch of guys on this team that can lead," said Brown. "We have guys who have been around this league for a while and know how to get things done."
The Kings hope to stop a three-game home losing streak tonight and are 8-9-1 in the City of Angels this season. Brown has a goal in two of the past three games and Williams has three points in the last two games. The Kings are 8-0-0 when scoring three-plus goals in a game.
Los Angeles has taken two of three meetings with Anaheim so far this season and has won five of the previous eight encounters at Staples Center. The lone matchup in LA resulted in a 2-1 shootout victory for the Kings.