The Los Angeles Kings missed a chance to match the longest win streak in team history and now face an opponent which is eager to knock them off.
The Anaheim Ducks will be the more rested team and at home Friday night in the latest edition of the Freeway Faceoff.
Los Angeles (29-19-12) had its eight-game win streak snapped with Thursday's 1-0 home loss to Ottawa. Now the streak the Kings may be concerned about is a scoreless run of more than 117 minutes, though coach Darryl Sutter didn't think his club was looking ahead.
"Why would they be looking ahead to tomorrow night?" he told the Kings' official website. "I think you get two points for every game."
Anaheim (38-17-7) leads the Pacific Division by 10 points over Vancouver, with Los Angeles 13 back. The first three matchups between these rivals have gone to overtime, and a similarly tight game is what the Ducks expect.
"It's a great test to play a team that's playing at Stanley Cup caliber to see where you stand," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We'll have to compete at a very high level to stay with them because they're on that kind of a roll right now."
The Ducks were also blanked by the Senators in their last game, 1-0 at home Wednesday. That snapped a three-game win streak in which Ryan Getzlaf amassed four points.
Anaheim is 2-4-0 in its last six home games while Los Angeles has won four straight on the road. The Ducks are 1 for 15 on the power play in their last seven games overall.
"Some nights we're going out and working for the sake of work," Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "We're not working smartly and that paralyzes a team. We need to have our brains turned on and be doing everything correctly in order to be successful."
The Ducks remain without injured starting goalie Frederik Andersen. John Gibson, who has never faced Los Angeles, has started the last seven games.
Jonathan Quick made his 16th straight start Thursday for the Kings and has started both ends of a back-to-back once. Quick has allowed one goal or none in his last four games.
The other option is Martin Jones, who hasn't started since Jan. 14.
Andrej Sekera expects to make his Kings debut after being acquired Wednesday from Carolina. The puck-moving defenseman, who plans to move in with fellow Slovak star Marian Gaborik, is excited to move from the last-place Hurricanes to the defending champs.
''Losing isn't an option here,'' Sekera said. ''It's a great environment like that, and I look forward to being in it.''
The Kings average an NHL-best 33.15 hits, and have outhit the Ducks by an average of 7.7 in the season series. Those kind of big hits get a rise out of the fans, and Anaheim wants to make sure its supporters are louder Friday.
"We have a great crowd but it truly is a team effort between the Ducks on the ice and the Ducks fans in the crowd," Lovejoy said. "We need to give them things to cheer about, things to taunt L.A. with and I think the 20 guys in this room take responsibility for that."