Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
NHL: Washington at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m., Versus:
It’s back indoors for this President’s Day affair, after that New Year’s Day meeting on Heinz Field where the Caps won, 3-1, and then beat the Pens, 3-0, on Super Bowl Sunday. Any more heated words between these two will ruin the holiday for all of us.
NBA: Lakers vs. Atlanta, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Had a nice, relaxing All-Star break? Now shake it off. Recess is over — one that for the Lakers started midway through a lethargic loss in Orlando two Sundays ago. This marks the start of the last 25 regular season games, with 14 of them at home. Hawks coach Larry Drew, the former Lakers guard, has a team fifth overall in the Eastern Conference and 7-3 in its last 10 road games.
NBA: Clippers at Oklahoma City, 5 p.m., Prime:
The afterglow of NBA All-Star weekend hits home for Blake Griffin. He had arranged to have close friend Wilson Holloway attend this game, Griffin’s first as a pro in his home town. But Holloway’s death at 22 last week after a battle with cancer changed everyone’s plans – he was to attend Holloway’s funeral on Monday.
NHL: Kings at Ducks, Honda Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Round three in the season rivalry (they’ve split the first two) and they’ve each got 32 wins, 4 OT losses, and 68 points, holding down the last two spots in the Western Conference playoff race. On ESPN’s NHL power rankings for Week 20, the Ducks jumped from No. 12 to No. 5, and the Kings went from No. 13 to No. 6. And there’s three more meetings between March 19 and April 9. An indication of how the teams have been playing lately: The Kings have a plus-21 in goals scored versus allowed. The Ducks are minus-9.
NBA: Lakers at Portland, 7:30 p.m., ESPN, Channel 9:
Channel the new IFC series “Portlandia” as you watch the Lakers make a same-day trip to the Rose City. They haven’t played each other since early November (a Lakers’ 25-point victory) and now see each other three times in the next six weeks.
NBA: Clippers at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., Prime, ESPN:
Forget their previous meeting on Nov. 9 – the Clippers were mired in a nine-game losing streak and dropped a 19-point decision, improving the Hornets record to 7-0.
Golf: WCG Match Play Championship, 11 a.m., Golf Channel:
Spit-free Tiger Woods, with a No. 3 ranking now, has committed to playing in this five-day, man-to-man tournament, meaning it has the top 64 players in the world locked in. Woods, who won this thing three times, missed last year, as did Phil Mickelson, when both were Nos. 1 and 3. Ian Poulter defends his title. NBC has the final two days on Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
NHL: Kings vs. Minnesota, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
For the first time since Jan. 26, the Kings get to roll out of their El Segundo morning skate and go straight to Staples Center — the first of six in a row at home, and 14 of their last 22 to end the regular season. Yet, with all the recent success of that recent Grammy road trip, how much of a rollover effect will it have?
College basketball: USC vs. Arizona, Galen Center, 7:30 p.m.; UCLA vs. Arizona State, Pauley Pavilion, 8 p.m., Prime:
The Pac-10 leading Wildcats handed the Trojans a nine-point loss in Tuscon at the end of last month. The Bruins needed OT to fight off the Sun Devils in Tempe, with Lazeric Jones scoring 18 points.
NBA: Clippers at Lakers, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
With the NBA’s trading deadline having come and gone the day before, will either team have new faces to introduce to the L.A. crowd? The Clippers would love to reintroduce Eric Gordon, out since with a fractured wrist since Jan. 22. He scored 30 points in the Clippers’ nine-point win over the Lakers back on that Sunday, Jan. 16 afternoon that ended with the bizarre ejections of Blake Griffin, Baron Davis, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. These two have one more meeting in late March.
NHL: Ducks vs. Minnesota, Honda Center, 7 p.m., KDOC:
The Wild blasted the shell-shocked Ducks and goaltender Curtis McElhinney, 5-1, last Friday.
MLB exhibition: Dodgers vs. Angels, Tempe, Ariz., noon:
It’s a Freeway Series in Arizona to start the spring training season, with the first one at the Angels’ camp and on Sunday back down the 10 Freeway in Glendale (on Prime Ticket).
NHL: Kings vs. Colorado, Staples Center, 1 p.m., FSW:
The underachieving Avs tried to fix their goaltending problems by trading Craig Anderson, who set a franchise record with 71 starts a year ago, to Washington for Brian Elliott late last week.
College basketball: UCLA vs. Arizona, Pauley Pavilion, 1 p.m., Prime; USC vs. Arizona State, Galen Center, 4:30 p.m., Prime:
Arizona led by as much as 18 points in the second half before locking down an 11-point win over the Bruins earlier this season. Reeves Nelson finished with a game-high 24 points, but the Bruins were just 2-of-15 from 3-point range trying to play catchup.
Special: The Academy Awards, 5 p.m., Channel 7:
Does “The Fighter” have a fighting chance for best picture? Maybe if it boosts its social network publicity.
NBA: Lakers at Oklahoma City, 11:30 a.m., Channel 7:
If OKC and LAL end up tied in the final Western Conference standings — they’re pretty much even for the No. 3 spot behind San Antonio and Dallas at this point — these head-to-head battles could mean something. The NBA takes the top three division winners (likely the Lakers, Spurs and Thunder) and the team with the next-best record (Mavericks) and hands them the No. 1-through-4 seeds, in order of overall record. Ties are broken by head-to-head meetings. The Lakers stopped the Thunder at Staples Center on MLK Day, despite 32 points from Russell Westbrook, and they have one more meeting next month.
Basketball: Harlem Globetrotters, Staples Center, noon:
Can they show the Lakers-Thunder game on the video screens? The Globies are also at Anaheim’s Honda Center on Saturday (2 and 7 p.m.) and the Ontario arena on Thursday (7 p.m.).
NHRA: Winternationals eliminations, Pomona, 4 p.m., ESPN2:
The season kickoff event has a special tribute to Van Nuys legend Don “the Snake” Prudhomme. ESPN2 has Saturday’s qualifying from 8-10 p.m.