By Adam Brady
LOS ANGELES – In a game that surprised nobody by going to overtime, the Kings got payback on the Ducks in the extra session this afternoon at Staples Center.
Jarret Stoll’s tap-in power-play goal 2:19 into OT gave the Kings a 3-2 victory, retribution for Anaheim’s dramatic 6-5 comeback victory in a shootout three nights prior.
LA won it when Justin Williams fed in front to Stoll, who tapped the puck off the underside of right leg pad of Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen and over the stripe. The Kings were working with a 4-on-3 man advantage stemming from a Hampus Lindholm hooking call on Anze Kopitar in the Anaheim end.
"Just a couple of unlucky breaks tonight," said Ryan Kesler, who scored a go-ahead goal in the second period. "It’s going to happen over the course of 82 games. I thought we battled hard and competed. They had a push in the first period, we absorbed it, and pushed back. We played well, but not well enough to win."
It was the fifth straight overtime game for the Ducks, a franchise record, though they have gone 1-4 in those games. They're still riding a seven-game point streak (3-0-4). "We're playing well. We're just not getting two points right now," said Kesler. "We're not happy with just one point."
"We’re battling through a lot of injuries," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "We have some big guys out of the lineup. When we manage to get points every night, it’s a positive. Do we want two points? Yes, but we’re getting points and moving forward."
Unlike Wednesday night when the Ducks wiped out three different two-goal deficits, Anaheim never trailed in the game until overtime and had a one-goal lead erased with a little more than 10 minutes left in the third.
Anaheim got on the board first when Emerson Etem stayed with the puck in front of the Kings net and chipped a backhand under the crossbar for his second of the year and his first ever against LA.
The Kings got even with 3:23 left in the second on a shorthanded goal after Matt Beleskey turned over the puck in the defensive zone and Tyler Toffoli whipped a shot past Andersen on a 2-on-1 breakout.
It didn’t take long for the Ducks to go back in front, as Bryan Allen made a nice shot pass across the ice to Kesler, who deftly lifted it top shelf from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. That lead held until LA got even midway through the third following a dubious Getzlaf goalie interference call, as Kopitar’s one-timer darted over Andersen’s glove to make it 2-2. That snapped an 0-for-18 power play streak for the Kings.
It also helped break a six-game regular season winning streak for the Ducks over the Kings, though LA got the better of an epic seven-game series in the last postseason.
"There’s no panic in this room," Kesler said. "We’re playing well. We’re just not getting the two points right now. Things are going to turn around for us."
The Ducks turn right around and play again tomorrow, against the visiting Panthers at Honda Center.
"We’ll just reload," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudrea, "and come back next game."