Get your game notes: Kings at Ducks

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• LA and ANA meet for the first time since the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which LA won in 7 games en route to its 2nd Stanley Cup in 3 seasons.

• This was the first playoff meeting between LA and ANA over their 21 years in the NHL together.

• LA won the first 2 games in ANA, and then lost the next 3 before a Game 6 win at home and a 6-2 Game-7 victory at Honda Center.

• The Ducks have dropped 3 straight -the first three games of their 4-game homestand – all in OT/SO (3-2 OT to NYI, 3-2 SO to AZ, and 2-1 SO to VAN on Sunday). At 10-3-3, the Ducks are 2nd in the Western Conference, but their offense has sputtered, scoring just 12 regulation/OT goals in the last 8 games.

• Ducks leading goal-scorer RW Corey Perry (viral gland infection) has missed the last three games. He was retroactively placed on IR over the weekend and is eligible to return vs. LA, but on Tuesday his status was updated to reveal that he and teammate D Francois Beauchemin (same condition) must undergo more tests as their contagious infections persist. They have been prevented from practicing pending test results.

• Perry has 11 goals in 13 GP this season, and led the league in goals before his exit from the lineup.

• Prior to its most recent game, a 5-1 victory Saturday night vs. VAN, LA had just one win in its previous 6 games (1-3-2). The Kings improved to an NHL-best 7-1-1 at home with the victory.

• First-liners C Anze Kopitar and RW Marian Gaborik each recorded multi-point efforts (1 goal, 1 assist apiece).

• Kopitar (5 points in 12 GP) and Gaborik (3 points in 7 GP) have struggled to find chemistry, having incurred upper-body injuries earlier in the season.

• LA (1.93 GA/GM – T-4th) and ANA (1.88 – T-2nd) both rank in the top 5 in team defense this season.

NOTABLE INJURIES

• LA: D Robyn Regehr (undisclosed) missed LA’s game Saturday and is day-to-day

• ANA: RW Corey Perry (viral gland infection) was placed on IR on Sun. and has missed three straight games.

• ANA: G John Gibson (groin) was placed on IR last week and was expected to miss 6 weeks

• ANA: LW Kyle Palmieri (high ankle sprain) has yet to play this season after being injured in training camp. He is now nearing a return.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

• LA: The pairing of D Jake Muzzin and D Drew Doughty combined for 0 points in LA’s 5 games vs. ANA last season.

• LA: Captain RW Dustin Brown has 21 goals and 21 assists in 57 career games vs. ANA; his most vs. any team for both categories.

• ANA: Captain C Ryan Getzlaf has 16 goals and 40 points in 50 career games vs. LA.

• ANA: G Frederik Andersen went 3-0-0 with a 1.62 GAA and .949 SV% in 3 starts last season vs. LA – his only career appearances vs. the Kings.

L.A. TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• The Kings had their second roster complication of the season on Saturday, as it could only dress 5 defensemen (dressed 19 of a possible 20 players vs. PHI on Oct. 28).

• D Robyn Regehr was injured in Friday’s practice, and with D Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension (suspicions of domestic violence), only 5 healthy defensemen were on the roster.

• With Regehr’s questionable short-term health, and with Voynov getting a non-roster exemption from the commissioner (frees up a roster spot, but still counts against the cap), LA signed D Jamie McBain on Tuesday to a 1-yr/$550K league minimum contract to increase its roster flexibility.

• McBain, 26, played 69 games last season for BUF (6G, 11A), and has 275 career GP (CAR, BUF).

• That 70’s Line‖ of RW Tyler Toffoli (17 points), C Jeff Carter (14 points), and LW Tanner Pearson (10 points) continues to be 1-2-3 in Kings scoring this season. All three posted +3 ratings in the win vs. VAN.

• Against VAN, Toffoli posted three points (1G, 2A) and picked up his fifth multi-point game this season. His 17 points leads LA and is T-10th in the NHL. His +14 rating is T-2nd in the NHL.

ANAHEIM TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• After captain C Ryan Getzlaf began the season with points in 7 of his first 8 games (3 goals, 9 assists in that stretch), he has managed only 1 goal and 2 assists in 7 games since. His 15 points are tied for the team lead with Corey Perry.

• C Ryan Kesler, acquired in the offseason from VAN, is 3rd on the team with 11 points in 16 GP this season.

• D Sami Vatanen (10 points) and D Cam Fowler (9 points) rank 4th and 5th on the Ducks in scoring, respectively.

• Vatanen has become a power play specialist for the Ducks. All 10 of his points (4 goals, 6 assists) have come on the power play this season. His 4 power-play goals are T-1st in the NHL for d-men (Trevor Daley – DAL)

• Fowler is T-2nd on the team with 8 assists. He suffered a lower-body injury last Sat. and missed ANA’s game against VAN on Sun. He practiced Tuesday and will be a game-time decision vs. LA.

• G Frederik Andersen (7-1-2, 1.56 GAA, .953 SV%) is 0-0-2 in his last two starts despite giving up only 3 goals in those games. Andersen has never lost 3 straight starts in his career.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.

Back with Wild, Fleury welcomes big workload as clear No. 1

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — With his ever-present smile, tireless approach and long list of accomplishments in the net, Marc-Andre Fleury has always embraced a heavy workload.

The Minnesota Wild sure haven’t shied away from leaning hard on their new – and 37-year-old – goalie. After arriving in a deadline-day trade in March and re-signing with the Wild in July, the guy everyone calls “Flower” is still fully abloom as he begins his 19th season in the NHL.

“They say, `You play,’ I play, unless maybe I’m hurt or something,” Fleury said. “But other than that, I like playing.”

Wild general manager Bill Guerin initially planned to bring back both Fleury and Cam Talbot, who made the All-Star team and went 13-0-3 in his last 16 regular season starts before being benched in favor of Fleury for the first-round playoff series against St. Louis. The Wild lost in six games, after Talbot got the cold start in the elimination game and gave up four goals on 26 shots.

Guerin changed his mind, though, after signing Fleury to a two-year, $7 million contract. Realizing Talbot’s frustration from the lack of postseason action, he didn’t want to risk any tension or discontent. Talbot was traded to Ottawa for Filip Gustavsson, who will be the No. 2 goalie while top prospect Jesper Wallstedt gets more development in the AHL.

Gustavsson has only 23 career regular-season starts, nearly 200 fewer than Talbot, so it’s a good bet that Fleury will get the majority of the games.

“I was ready to share the load with him, but things didn’t work out and happy to be having the chance to play maybe a bit more. It’s fun to play. It’s more fun than sitting on the bench,” said Fleury, who went 28-23-5 in 56 combined starts for Chicago and Minnesota last season with a 2.90 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.

The Wild reconvened for training camp last week, beginning their quest to recapture the mojo they enjoyed last season while setting franchise records for points (113), wins (53) and goals (305). The only team that finished ahead of them in the Western Conference was Colorado, which went on to win the Stanley Cup, but they never met the Avs in the playoffs because the Blues got to them first.

There’s a strong chemistry in place, at least, to build upon.

“We still have a lot of guys here who were here last year. We’re just trying to make it even better, just trying to listen to everybody,” center Joel Eriksson Ek said. “We want to set a standard and a way for how hard this team’s going to work.”

The Wild start the regular season by hosting the New York Rangers on Oct. 13.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

The most significant roster move of the summer amongst the skaters was the inevitable salary-cap-driven trade of second-leading scorer Kevin Fiala to Los Angeles. Fiala had a career-high 33 goals and 52 assists last season. Guerin otherwise dabbled mostly in two-way contracts in free agency for depth. Former Anaheim center Sam Steel signed with Minnesota last month, one day after defenseman Dimitry Kulikov was dealt to the Ducks.

MORE POWER

The Wild were done in during the playoffs by abysmal special teams. They went just 4 for 24 on the power play against the Blues, and head coach Dean Evason had the team working on that on the first day on the ice. The penalty kill that lagged last season was a focus of the second practice.

“It has to get better, no question,” Evason said.

BLUE LINE SHUFFLE

Captain Jared Spurgeon has been placed with Jonas Brodin on the first pair on defense, and Jake Middleton has joined Matt Dumba on the second unit. Dumba and Brodin are close friends who’ve been paired together for several seasons.

“Dumbs is a shooter too,” said Middleton, who re-signed for three years and $7.35 million. “It’s pretty exciting. I can get some cookies passing him the puck. That’d be a big plus. I think it’ll work well. He loves hitting guys too. He plays a gritty game as well so I think we’ll be a good combo.”

UP FRONT

With Jordan Greenway recovering from offseason surgeries, Tyson Jost will get the first chance to skate with Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno. The departure of Fiala has opened at least one spot for a rookie to make the team, with 2020 first-round draft pick Marco Rossi in line for it.

ON THE SLATE

This is the first time in eight years the Wild will play their regular-season opener at home. After three more games at Xcel Energy Center, they don’t hit the road until a five-game trip that starts Oct. 22 at Boston. The Wild have a season-long nine-game homestand from Feb. 9-21.