By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – The Ducks got the tables turned on them in a major way while suffering their first loss of the preseason, at the hands of the LA Kings at Honda Center.
One night after trouncing Phoenix 6-2 at home, the Ducks – sporting a mostly different lineup than the night before – suffered a 6-0 defeat to their rivals from up the freeway. Jeff Carter had two goals for the Kings, playing their first game since losing two split-squad games Sunday night vs. Phoenix.
"We had a lot of young guys in the lineup tonight," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. "You create bad habits by not working. You ask the L.A. Kings in their game against Phoenix, the same team we beat. None of them did anything. Tonight, they came out and worked and showed what their true colors are. It’s going to be the same situation with us. We’ve had some guys who haven’t worked very hard in training. They need to get back to the grindstone and start working."
Among the notables in the lineup for Anaheim was the reunited line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Penner, weren’t able to get a lot going offensively. Young defenseman Sami Vatanen was among the few Ducks who was in the lineup for the second night in a row.
"They played fairly well, and we played fairly poor," said Penner, who spent the past two seasons in LA. "It’s preseason, and it’s a lot of guys’ first game. But with that being said, it’s not an excuse. It’s a matter of fact. There were a lot of things we could’ve done more efficiently. Number one is compete. They had too many easy shots, and made it too hard on our goalies to make saves."
The Ducks spent much of the first period in the penalty box, and LA took quick advantage of a Cam Fowler double-minor for high sticking with a little more than five minutes left. Soon after the penalty, Matt Frattin skated between the circles and whipped a shot past starter Viktor Fasth.
At 7:10 of the second, Scott Sabourin skated seemingly innocently down the right wing and let go of a wrist shot that somehow got through Fasth on the near side.
With 1:43 left in the period, defenseman Drew Doughty threw the puck on net from above the right circle and it snuck through Fasth to make it 3-0 Kings.
"The first period felt like the first period of the year," Fasth said. "I kind of got into it in the second [period], but there were two other goals I should’ve [stopped]. If I did that, it would be a one-goal game heading into the third. I’m just going to work harder and get ready for the next game."
Fasth gave way to Ducks 2011 second round draft pick John Gibson to start the third period, and he didn’t have any better luck.
Halfway through the period, he couldn’t clear the crease after Tanner Pearson crashed the net and Jeff Carter punched in the loose puck. Three minutes later, Carter struck again on the breakaway, slinging a wrist shot past Gibson on the stick side. Not long after that Anze Kopitar scored the final goal of the night, a snap shot from the left wing that got past Gibson's outstretched leg.
The Ducks play their third preseason game in as many nights when they travel to Colorado tomorrow night to face the Avalanche.