By Dominic Lancella on August 22, 2014
The Los Angeles Kings continue to enjoy their summer as champions after winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons. But October is rapidly approaching, and soon it will be time for the title defense to begin. As reigning champs, everyone will be gunning for the Kings in the 2014-15 season, but here are five standout games from the schedule that you won’t want to miss.
Bring in the New Year with a bitter hockey rivalry! The Kings travel to Vancouver hoping to continue their success against the Canucks. L.A. went 4-1 vs. their division rivals last season. According to hockeyfights.com, the Kings have gotten into more scraps with the Canucks than any other team in franchise history. The two teams have fought 210 times, so expect an intense game on New Year's Day.
Just a week later it’s a Finals rematch as the Rangers travel to Staples Center, where they lost the clinching game of the series. Last season’s finals between L.A. and New York featured three overtime wins for the Kings and a very entertaining ending to a great NHL season. The two only meet twice during the regular season, so you won’t want to miss this one.
The Ducks were up 3-2 on L.A. in the second round last playoffs before they lost Games 6 and 7. While the Kings got the last laugh (and the Cup), they want to prove that they can be better than the Ducks in the regular season as well. Anaheim finished 16 points ahead in what has become a very tough Pacific division. The Kings will also be retiring former defenseman and captain Rob Blake’s No. 4 jersey before the game, making it a must-see.
It will be the first time the two teams clash since their epic Game 7 of the Western Conference finals when the Kings stunned Chicago 5-4 in overtime. The Hawks are another team that L.A. would like to do better against in the regular season. Chicago was the only team in the NHL that the Kings didn’t have at least one point against last season. They went 0-3 and were outscored 9-4. Every game between these west heavyweights is exciting to watch.
The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series features the battle between Northern and Southern California. The Kings travel to Levi’s Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers for a showdown with the Sharks, the team they trailed 3-0 in the first round last playoffs. The Kings won four straight to crush San Jose and the rest is history. This will be the L.A.’s second regular season game outdoors, and they'll be looking for their first win outside.
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