By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – The Ducks have repeatedly stressed the need to get scoring production from sources other than the line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz. While that trio did it all in putting the Ducks in front Thursday night against the Kings, other contributors made sure they kept that lead.
"We were able to rally around each other and make a few big goals," Getzlaf said. "Everybody contributed. That was the biggest thing."
scored the Ducks’ first two goals and Ryan Getlaf added his own in the third, one of four in the period that paced the Ducks to a 6-3 victory at Staples Center
. Kunitz had assists on all of the Ducks' first three scores.
|Chris Kunitz had a hand in the Ducks' first three goals of the night.
Following Getzlaf In the third, Brad May, Samuel Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer each scored their second goal of the season in making sure the Kings didn’t pull off another comeback like they did in their last game in this arena.
In that game last Saturday against Dallas, the Kings scored five goals in 5:07 in the third period to erase a 4-0 deficit and win 6-5 in overtime.
The Ducks ensured there was no repeat of that, thanks to May and Pahlsson’s insurance and some solid work from goalie J.S. Giguere, who had 26 saves in the contest. Kings forward Patrick O’Sullivan’s rebound goal with 3:19 left gave the Staples Center sellout crowd of 18,118 some hope, but it was too little too late. The Ducks slammed the door with Niedermayer's empty-net goal with 42 seconds remaining, also his second of the year.
"We have to get contributions like that from everyone more often. We played a terrible first period and were able to respond and find ourselves in the win column. I’m sure L.A. is not happy with the way it went, but we figured something out. We need to carry that on from game to game."
The Ducks’ win was their second in three nights against the Kings, as Anaheim
went to 9-8-3 on the season, there first time over .500 all season.
Getzlaf gave the Ducks its first lead of the game just 2:08 into the third. After Kunitz poked repeatedly at a loose puck in front of Kings goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin, it ended up slipping through the goalie, and Getzlaf easily tipped it in as it rolled toward the stripe.
Brad May gave the Ducks some much-needed padding at 8:31, stopping an Andy McDonald pass with his stick, and backhanding the loose puck past Aubin. It was May’s 125 career goal in his 900th game.
Just more than two minutes later, Niedermayer dug a loose puck away from a diving Aubin to Pahlsson, who took advantage of the wide open top half of the cage with Aubin on his stomach.
The strong third was a makeup for a mostly lackluster first period for the Ducks. They were outshot 11-4 by the Kings, one of which resulted in a Anze Kopitar goal with 6:52 left, just a few seconds before a slashing minor on Drew Miller expired. Kopitar skated through the left wing circle and unleashed a wrister under Giguere.
Anaheim came back hard in the second, snapping off 11 shots of their own.
"They dominated most of the first part of the game," Getzlaf said, "and we came out and started playing."
They got rewarded for their hard work early in the period when Kunitz slid a pass through the crease that was either deflected by Perry or went in off Kings d-man Lubomir Visnovsky’s skate. Either way, the goal was credited to Perry, his team-leading 10th on the year.
There was no question on Perry’s second goal of the night, which he scored just out of the penalty box 16:24 into the second. This one was also set up by Kunitz, who picked up a turnover in the Ducks zone, then headmanned to a wide-open Perry at center ice. On the breakaway, Perry fired a wrister between the skates of Aubin.
That goal tied it 2-2 with the Kings, who got their second goal 12:05 into the period on Dustin Brown’s smooth wrister from the left circle that got by Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s shoulder.
That was the last Kings goal until the mostly meaningless marker by O'Sullivan late in the third.
The Ducks were without the services of veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who has a sore hip and is listed as day to day.
Joe DiPenta got the nod in place of Schneider. New call-up Ryan Carter also saw ice time.
Anaheim flies out tonight to San Jose, where they play the Sharks on Saturday night.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks play a very strong third period to pull away and claim a 6-3 victory at Staples.
19:18 - ANAHIEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - With the Kings net empty, Niedermayer picks up the puck at the red line near the right wing boards, then flings a shot that finds the net. It's 6-3 Ducks and this thing is over.
16:41 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - PATRICK SULLIVAN - Matt Moulson takes a slap shot from the left circle that Giguere knocks down, but as he's reaching out to cover the rebound, Sullivan punches it under his glove. It's 5-3 Ducks, but probably too late for another miracle L.A. comeback.
14:08 - Giguere does a nice job to deny the Kings on a scramble in front of him.
10:55 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SAMUEL PAHLSSON - Aubin dives after a loose puck and he's prone as Niedermayer digs it away from him to Pahlsson, who snaps it top shelf. Give the whole checking line credit on that one, shades of the '07 playoffs. It's 5-2 Ducks and looks like a runaway. Then again, don't forget what happened last time the Kings were down in the third period here.
8:31 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BRAD MAY - Andy McDonald throws it toward the net, and May stops it with his stick, then recovers it at the top of the crease, sending a backhand under Aubin. It's the 125th career goal for May, in his 900th career game.
7:40 - We go to the timeout with not a lot of action after that Getzlaf goal. This crowd has gotten pretty quiet. Let's hope they stay that way.
2:08 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Corey Perry takes a shot from the right circle that Aubin saves, but it's loose in front. Chris Kunitz does a phenomenal job to poke at it repeatedly until it leaks behind Aubin. Getzlaf bats it in as it rolls toward the stripe, one of the easiest goals of his life. It's 3-2 Ducks.
We have a delay as Kings maintenance guys take a ladder the entire length of the ice to fix the glass behind the Kings goal. Both guys are wearing jerseys, which makes you wonder if they're just fans volunteering or actual arena employees.
1:25 - Beauchemin blisters a slap shot that hits the boards, then Getzlaf's rebound attempt hits the side of the net.
Attendance is announced a 18,118, a sellout. They were late-arriving, but they're here.
0:00 - We're off in the third. Something tells me this will be a good one.
During the intermission, a random fan competes in a contest in which he has to shoot from behind the red line at the goal for $25,000. Doesn't seem all that hard for that much money. Aaaaaaannnnd ... he misses!
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks are a much-improved hockey club in the middle period, getting two goals (according to the scoresheet, at least) from Corey Perry
. They give up one to Dustin Brown midway through the period and we're tied 2-2.
16:24 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Chris Kunitz picks up a Kings turnover in the Ducks zone, then headmans perfectly to a wide-open Perry, who just came out of the box. Perry is all along and flicks a wrister between Aubin's skates. It's 2-2. Officially, it's the second of the game for Perry, though we're still not 100 percent sure on the first one.
15:22 - Giguere makes a save on another Kopitar shot, then briefly looks behind himself. That's never a good sign, but it's underneath him and frozen.
14:16 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. boarding. That wipes out the Ducks' advantage.
The Kings PA guy, as you probably know, is also the Angels guy. I keep expecting him to say, "Third baseman ... CHONE FIGGINS!!"
14:01 - LAK Penalty - Tom Preissing, 2 min. tripping. Preissing upends Marchant behind the Kings cage.
Cool game during the timeout where they show nine headshots of Kings for a few seconds, then hide them behind numbers and have a fan guess which number each King is behind. The guy wins and gets a $1,500 gift certificate to ... I'm not sure. And a pair of Kings tickets.
12:05 - DUSTIN BROWN - Brown skates from behind the net toward the left circle, looking like he's trying to make a pass. He quickly turns and wrists one that slips past Giguere's shoulder. It's 2-1 Kings. Kopitar and Cammalleri get the assists.
11:50 - Pahlsson, who is seemingly playing every shift, makes a one-time try is saved,
9:52 - Sammy Pahlsson makes a great poke check on a charging King just as the penalty is expiring.
8:51 - Giguere makes a pretty glove save on a Cammalleri shot.
7:52 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. slashing. Two-man advantage for L.A.
6:45 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. high sticking. Giguere saves the Ducks temporarily while making two big saves during the delayed penalty.
5:30 - Sammy Pahlsson does a great job to steal the puck in the Ducks zone, then zooms all the way down to take a shot that Aubin covers.
4:17 - LAK Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. for second faceoff violation. Nagy jumps in too early on the draw, the second straight time the Kings did it. Not a penalty you often see, but the Ducks will certainly take it. We're 4 on 4.
While Beauchemin serves the penalty, the video board shows a manufactured shot of a Ducks player in the penalty box putting his head on a pillow and holding a pink baby blanket over himself. To their credit, it looked kind of real. But that's exactly why they shouldn't do it.
3:44 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. hooking.
0:52 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Getzlaf gets the puck to Kunitz from behind the net, and Kunitz slides it to the crease, where Perry nicely deflects it in from straightaway. It's Perry's team-leading 10th on the year and we're tied at 1. A second look shows that it might have gone in off Visnovsky's skate.
During the intermission, two jersey-wearing Kings fans engage in a spirited game of Guitar Hero III (a game whose appeal I still don't get) on the video board. The goofy-looking guy who wins jumps up and down, then stares in the camera holding up the crest on his jersey, as if being a Kings fan helped him win. Priceless.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The horn mercifully sounds just as Kopitar is hunting for another goal. The KIngs control the period, outshoooting the Ducks 11-4 and scoring a power play goal at 13:08. It's 1-0 purple.
19:05 - Giguere makes a nice glove save on a Brad Stuart shot from the point.
18:44 - Pronger takes a backhander that Aubin saves and holds it while Niedermayer tries to find a loose puck.
17:57 - ANA and LAK Penalties - ANA Corey Perry
and LAK John Zeiler, 2 min. each unsportsmanlike conduct. Didn't see what they did, but it was definitely unsportsmanlike.
During the timeout, they have a fan whom they ask three questions about the Ducks. She is asked, "True or False: Teemu Selanne has the most points in Ducks history." She answers true. It's false. Then they ask if Paul Kariya was the first Ducks draft pick. She answers true. She's right. Third question is: True or False. Google maps says it takes 39 minutes to go from L.A. to Anaheim. She answers "false" but, believe it or not, it's true! Although, you have to be driving at 3:00 in the morning, or be a Hall of Fame football player in a white Bronco.
13:08 - LOS ANGELES GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ANZE KOPITAR - Just seconds before the penalty expires, Kopitar takes a pass from Michael Cammalleri on the left wing, skates through the circle and unleashes a wrister under Giguere. It's 1-0 Kings and, guess what? "I Love L.A." blares from the speakers.
12:05 - Giguere, like LaBarbera Tuesday night, loses his stick, and as Pronger is trying to hand it back to him, he has to ignore him to make a quick save. He eventually gets it back, escaping disaster.
During the timeout, a single t-shirt shooter guy is shown on the video board. He's very enthusiastic. And even looks a little crazy.We've gotten rid of the t-shirt shooters, but they still do it here.
11:12 - ANA Penalty - Drew Miller, 2 min. slashing. And here comes that familiar ding-dong-DING-dong sound signalling an opponent's penalty. I've missed it. Like I miss head lice.
Now they've switched the chant to "Anaheim sucks!". Well, at least they're using some variety. But do they mean the team or the city?
After the whistle, the organ music leads the crowd into a spirited "Ducks suck" chant. Nice.
4:47 - Perry gets loose in the slot and wrists a shot that Aubin gloves.
3:47 - LAK Penalty - Matt Moulson, 2 min. interference. Moulson backs into Getzlaf, who looks to tackle a Kings player as he falls. The crowd thinks the minor is on Getzlaf, but it goes the other way. Ducks on their first PP.
2:40 - Chris Pronger touches the puck and receives the obligatory boos.
This could be the first matchup between two goalies named Jean-Sebastien in the history of the league. I'll have to look that up. Or not.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda ... I mean, Staples Center.
7:38 - I don't know the name of the young girl singing the anthem, but that was one of the best renditions I've ever heard in my life.
Starting Goaltender: ANA J.S. Giguere; LAK J.S. Aubin
Starting Skaters: ANA Francois Beauchemin, Chris Pronger, Brad May, Ryan Getzlaf
, Corey Perry
; LAK Rob Blake, Lubomir Visnovsky
, Alecander Frolov, Patrick O'Sullivan, Matt Moulson
Scratches: ANA Mathieu Schneider, Mark Mowers; LAK Kevin Dallman
Schneider is out with a sore hip and is day to day