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Top 10 moments of 2020 for the Kings and Ducks

Kings forward Tyler Toffoli celebrates after scoring against the Colorado Avalanche.
Kings forward Tyler Toffoli celebrates after scoring against the Colorado Avalanche in an outdoor game at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Feb. 15. He was traded to Vancouver two days later.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

A look at the top 10 moments for the Kings and Ducks in 2020.

1. Feb. 11: When St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester goes into sudden cardiac arrest while sitting on the bench during a game in Anaheim, the medical staffs for the Ducks and Blues rush to save his life. They apply compressions within about a minute and revive him with an automated external defibrillator after he lost consciousness. He spends a week hospitalized in Orange before returning to St. Louis to continue his recovery.

2. Feb. 15: In his final game before being traded, Tyler Toffoli records the NHL’s first outdoor game hat trick to lead the Kings past the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 at the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs. Toffoli, who scores in the final minute of what had been a tied game, is dealt to Vancouver two days later for two draft picks and a prospect.

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3. Feb. 26: For a second straight season, the Kings trade fan favorites and Stanley Cup-winning veterans to acquire pieces for the future. Toffoli, Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez and Derek Forbort are all dealt for prospects and draft picks — moves that fans hope mark the end of the tear-down phase of the club’s rebuild.

4. March 11: Even after their string of trades and an injury to veteran forward Jeff Carter, the Kings reel off seven straight victories (including a 5-0-0 mark in March) before the season is suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. They cap the run with a third-period comeback in a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators.

5. May 22: In a situation only 2020 could create, Kings and Ducks players have to vote on an NHL return-to-play plan in the summer that marks the end of their teams’ seasons, since neither club qualifies for the expanded 24-team postseason format. Both rosters vote in favor of the plan — seen as the best way for the league to complete the season.

6. June 26: Even after their late-season winning streak, the Kings jump up two spots to No. 2 in the draft lottery, garnering their highest selection since 2008. The lottery winner? TBD, at least at the time. The New York Rangers eventually win the pick during a later drawing after being eliminated in the playoffs’ qualification round.

7. Oct. 6: Both Southland clubs draft potential franchise-altering players with their lottery picks. The Kings take big-bodied center Quinton Byfield at No. 2, while the Ducks nab defenseman Jamie Drysdale at No. 6. It is the first time both teams pick in the top six since 1995.

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8. Oct. 9: Unlike the Kings, the Ducks make a splash in free agency, signing Stanley Cup champion defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a three-year contract, a move general manager Bob Murray believes will help the Ducks “be right there fighting for a playoff spot” in 2021.

9. Nov. 16: Fan-favorite sweaters are brought back with a twist, as the Kings and Ducks release distinct new alternate uniforms as part of the NHL’s “Reverse Retro” jersey program. The Kings use their original purple and gold color scheme on their ‘90s-era logo and uniform, while the Ducks bring back a vintage sweater featuring cartoon mascot “Wild Wing” breaking through a sheet of ice.

10. Dec. 20: By the time the Kings and Ducks return to the ice for the upcoming season, which the league confirms will begin Jan. 13 and feature regionalized 56-game schedules, it will have been 10 months since they last played games — a welcome end to a long layoff amid the pandemic.


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