By Adam Brady
LOS ANGELES – Something had to give in the battle of two of the hotter teams in the NHL, and unfortunately for the Ducks, they were the SoCal team whose winning ways finally hit the skids.
Anaheim (13-3-1) gave up four unanswered goals to the rival Kings in the second and third periods on their way to a 5-2 loss in front of a sellout crowd at Staples Center. The defeat snapped a six-game winning streak for the Ducks and was the fourth in a row for LA. It also was the first loss for Anaheim goalie Viktor Fasth, who last week had become just the third NHL goalie to win the first eight starts of his career.
"They’re a good team, but so are we," Fasth said. "We really wanted to win this game and it didn’t work out. It’s one of those games. We’ll try to learn from this and go on.”
The win was sweet revenge for the Kings, who had suffered a 7-4 defeat to the Ducks earlier this month at Honda Center in the opening game of the Freeway Face-Off rivalry series.
LA took its first lead of the game 4:46 into the third period, as Anze Kopitar emerged from behind the net to feed Slava Voynov for a hard one-timer that hit goalie Fasth and trickled behind him barely over the stripe.
Less than two minutes later the Kings made it a two-goal cushion early into a power play off a Sheldon Souray slashing minor, as Jake Muzzin feigned a pass to the wing before slinging a wrist shot from the slot past Fasth.
The Ducks, who the night before against Colorado became the first team since 2006 to win six straight games in come-from-behind fashion, could not put together a comeback tonight as they ran out of gas in the third.
"We had a chance when it was 2-1 to make it 3-1 and maybe even 4-1 at one point. And that might’ve been the tide," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "But you give that team a little bit of momentum and they came at us in the third. Once they scored the third goal, it didn’t seem like we had the push to sustain any rushes. It was a tough situation for us."
Dustin Brown had a chance to make it a three-goal game late in regulation when he was taken down from behind by Ben Lovejoy. On the ensuing penalty shot, Brown tried to beat Fasth on the glove side, but hit the outside of the post.
The Kings eventually did get that fifth goal, after the Ducks sent Fasth to the bench for an extra attacker, as Jeff Carter beat Lovejoy to a loose puck and backhanded it into the empty net with 20.8 seconds left.
After a scoreless first, both teams came alive in the second with two goals apiece, starting with one from Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano just 13 seconds into the frame. Just seconds after winning the period-opening draw, Ryan Getzlaf chased down the puck in the corner and sent it in front, where Cogliano forced it netward.
Three minutes later LA knotted it up, as Jarret Stoll flung the puck on net from near the right wing wall, and Dustin Penner was able to redirect it through for his first of the year in 10 games.
Anaheim went back on top at the tail end of a power play, as Francois Beauchemin threw the puck into the crease, and Rob Scuderi whiffed trying to clear it out. Saku Koivu was in the right place at the right time to punch it into the open net.
But again the Kings got the equalizer, as Brown whipped a wrist shot from the slot that beat Fasth off the bottom of the crossbar.
That was the first of four goals in a row for the Kings, who handed the Ducks just their second defeat in the last 12 games. Anaheim looks to bounce back Wednesday night against the Predators at home.
“We’ll just start over and work hard in practice," Fasth said. "We have another game in two days, and we’ll have to forget about this and move on.”
20:00 - END OF GAME - That's a final. Kings 5, Ducks 2.
19:39 - LOS ANGELES GOAL (EMPTY NET) - JEFF CARTER - Carter beats Lovejoy to a puck that bounces hard off the wall and backhands it into the empty net to give the Kings a three-goal lead.
18:20 - Ducks send Fasth to the bench for an extra attacker.
17:27 - Brown fakes a shot and tries to beat Fasth on the glove side, but hits the outside of the right post.
17:27 - Dustin Brown meets a headman pass at center ice and is on the breakaway. He's taken down from behind by Lovejoy and awarded a penalty shot.
16:15 - Selanne fires on net as he's knockeddown by Muzzin, but Quick gloves it.
11:58 - Ducks kill it to stay alive in this one.
10:30 - A Lewis shot ran up Souray's stick and got him in the face. He's being helped on the bench. Not great timing for Anaheim right now.
9:58 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. elbowing. Fasth makes a big stop on Kopitar on the doorstep during the delayed whistle to salvage some hope there.
9:30 - Some hard-hitting going on out there, most of it from the Kings.
8:00 - Souray with a bad giveaway, but Lewis fires over the net. Ducks are tired.
6:23 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - JAKE MUZZIN - Kopitar sets it up again early on the PP, as he drops the puck to Muzzin, who looks to pass to Williams on the wing before slinging a wrist shot past Fasth from the slot. That's three unanswered and it's 4-2 LA.
6:08 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Souray, 2 min. slashing. Kings get on the power play.
4:46 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - JUSTIN WILLIAMS - Kopitar emerges from behind the net, where he's always dangerous and feeds Williams for the hard one-timer that hits Fasth and just barely trickles over the stripe. Kings take their first lead, 3-2.
2:30 - Doughty lays into Beauchemin pretty good.
2:10 - Koivu sends the puck in front with Quick scrambling, but Palmieri isn't ready for it.
1:22 - LAK Penalty - Dwiight King, 2 min. hooking. Didn't see the hook, but the official did. Early opportunity for the quack.
0:00 - Off and running in the third. Should be a good one.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Second period looks nothing like the first, as each team pots two and we're tied 2-2.
19:50 - Scuderi sends Perry flying with a shoulder behind the net.
19:20 - Souray with a beautiful steal from Carter to thwart a Kings rush up ice.
17:53 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - DUSTIN BROWN - Brown swerves past Allen on the rush and wrists a shot from the slot that hits the underside of the crossbar and finds the net. We're tied 2-2.
For the record, the inevitable loss of wifi signal at Staples Center happened middle of the second period.
16:50 - Quick is blocked from getting back into his crease by Palmieri and takes a shot at the back of Palmieri's head. No penalty and Ducks can't score while that's going on.
Staples Center throws Perry and Winnik on the screen for the end of Kiss Cam, and even though Perry looks up and sees it, he's not going for it.
14:01 - Getzlaf with a slap shot from the red line, and Cogliano with the follow, but Quick saves both.
8:30 - Perry gets off a clean shot from the slot, off the post. Kings escaped on that one.
8:08 - LAK Penalty - Slava Voynov, 2 min. delay of game. Flips it over the glass.
7:30 - Perry with a tip off a Getzlaf pass, similar to the game-winner last night, but this one goes just wide.
5:51 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - SAKU KOIVU - Just as the power play is about to run out, the Ducks strike, as Beauchemin throws the puck through the crease as it comes off the wall. Scuderi whiffs trying to clear it out, and Koivu is there to punch it through. Ducks retake the lead.
4:02 - LAK Penalty - Dustin Brown, 2 min. tripping. Kings are looking to get another one, as Fasth dives to stop them, but Brown is called for tripping. He, and much of this crowd, doesn't agree.
3:16 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - DUSTIN PENNER - The fight changes the momentum immediately, as Stoll throws a pass on net from the right wing wall past a surprised Beauchemin and former Duck Penner redirects it past Fasth. We're tied on Penner's first of the season (10 games).
3:04 - Away from the puck, Souray and Nolan passionately exchange punches, with Nolan getting in a few shots and getting Souray down. But Souray won't quick and pops up to eventually take Nolan down. Give this one to Nolan though.
2:40 - Perry is dogged heavily on the rush by Carter, and even gets knocked down, but still manages to one-time it into Quick.
1:15 - Beauchemin lays out to block a one-timer by, I think, Williams.
0:45 - Fasth holds his ground during a feverish moment in front of his net as the Kings look to get one back.
0:13 - DUCKS GOAL - ANDREW COGLIANO - Seconds after he won the draw to open the period, Getzlaf chases down a puck in the corner and throws it in front, where Cogliano forces it past Quick. Ducks lead it 1-0.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks with seven shots, Kings with 10. Neither with a goal.
19:30 - Selanne tries to sneak through a backhand.
18:23 - Kopitar tries a little tip, but Fasth is there.
16:55 - Fasth with a nice shoulder save on a Doughty rocket.
15:30 - Stoll slaps a bouncing puck on net, but Fasth is ready for it.
Timeout contest where a fan is given an arena name and he has to name the team that plays in it. The last one is Honda Center and the dude triumphantly says, "The Anaheim Sucks." You stay classy, LA.
14:00 - Ducks turn it over in their own end, but Fowler and Palmieri with a nice stick lift of Kopitar to save it.
12:30 - Nolan delivers a healthy shot on Cogliano between the benches. Neither Cogs not Allen happy about it.
9:46 - Not a lot to report in the first half of the first frame. Organ music. A few chants. Not a ton of action around the net.
8:47 - Some scariness around the Ducks net, as the puck squirts out of the corner right to the left post, but Fasth smothers it at the last instant.
3:00 - Cogliano with Getz and Perry early.
1:45 - Palmieri throws one on net from the left wing. Not sure they gave him a shot there though.
0:00 - And we're underway at Staples Center.
7:38 p.m. - Kings still using a cheesy anti-Ducks South Park cartoon to get the crowd pumped. Okay then.
7:36 a.m. - Nice rendition of the anthem (both in the audio and visual category) by Pia Toscano, who placed ninth on the 10th season of American Idol (thank you, Wikipedia).
We'll see if being Fasth is better than being Quick tonight. Sbisa scratches for the first time this year. That means Staubitz and Lydman are in (both scratched last night).
Starters in bold/italics.
|ANAHEIM DUCKS||LOS ANGELES KINGS|