By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – Five days ago the Ducks signed Ryan Getzlaf to a lucrative five-year contract extension, ensuring the young forward will be around for many years to come. Sunday against the Kings, Getzlaf gave them reason to savor that move.
|Kunitz scored the game-winner with 3:06 remaining in the third.
The 22-year-old forward scored two goals, including the tying tally in the third, to pace the Ducks to a 3-2 victory Sunday night against the rival Los Angeles Kings. Chris Kunitz followed those two goals with the game-winner with 3:06 left in the period.
Kunitz’s winner came after both Kent Huskins and Todd Bertuzzi hit posts with shot attempts within seconds of each other. Kunitz was able to punch the rebound off the Bertuzzi shot from the low right wing and hit nothing but net with 3:06 remaining in the third.
For the second straight game, the Ducks committed a dangerous late penalty while holding a one-goal lead. Corey Perry got caught with a hooking minor with 1:47 left, a situation that was made even more dire when Chris Pronger got called for slashing with 56 seconds remaining. But the Ducks were able to keep the Kings at bay on the 6 on 3 (with L.A. goalie Jason LaBarbera pulled from the net) and finally cleared the puck out of the zone with seconds remaining. A few ticks later, the horn mercifully sounded to end the game.
"It was nice to dig deep the way we did," Getzlaf said, "and tighten up in those little areas that made things a lot easier for our group in the second and third period."
Added Kunitz, "We’ve been giving up leads late and it’s nice to come from behind and get a win. It’s a momentum builder for our team."
|Getzlaf's goal in the second cut the Los Angeles lead to 2-1.
The Ducks went into that final period trailing Los Angeles 2-1, but Getzlaf tied it with a nifty move in the slot, sending the puck to his backhand and through the legs of LaBarbera. Bertuzzi fed Getzlaf on the wing to start the play, one of two assists on the night for the big forward.
It was the first two-goal game for Getzlaf, the second of his career, and gave him 10 goals on the season. He leads the Ducks with 25 points, having scored in eight straight games.
"Right now things are going in for me and it’s a result of my teammates around me," Getzlaf said. "Perry is playing hard and we now have Sutherby on our line. I think we’re moving the puck really well and the puck’s finding the net."
The victory for the Ducks came despite a lackluster first period controlled mostly by Los Angeles. Early in that period, Kings center Michael Cammalleri bit the Ducks again, but this time with his passing ability. Cammalleri took a feed on the right wing from Derek Armstrong, then slid a perfect saucer pass to a streaking Kyle Calder, who one-timed it past Anaheim netminder J.S. Giguere.
The one-goal lead would jump to two goals with just 29.2 left in the period, as Dustin Brown scored with the Kings on a power play following a George Parros boarding call. After Giguere knocked down a Rob Blake slap shot, Dustin Brown was right there to chip in the rebound.
The Ducks bounced back in the second, outshooting the Kings 15-8 and cutting the lead in half on Getzlaf’s first score, 3:43 into it. Getzlaf deflected a Francois Beauchemin wrister between his own legs, and the puck also went through the legs of LaBarbera. Getzlaf's goal in the third, followed by Kunitz's score, gave the Ducks three unanswered.
"The first period was pretty bad for us," Kunitz said. "We didn’t capitalize on power plays. They got the momentum. In the second period, it switched a little and then in the third period, we were taking control and keeping it in their end."
The win was the fourth in a row for the Ducks over the Kings, giving Anaheim a 4-1 advantage (one win came in a shootout) in the Freeway Faceoff rivalry series.
The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak for Anaheim, and was the first contest in the last six at Honda Center that didn’t go into overtime. Tonight was the last of 10 straight matchups against Pacific Division opponents, in which the Ducks went 6-2-2.
The Ducks were without forward Drew Miller, who suffered a strained left knee Friday against Phoenix. Kings forward Alexander Frolov sat out with a groin injury.
The Ducks hit the road for three games in Canada, starting Tuesday night at Vancouver.
Today’s game marked the Ducks’ 47th consecutive sellout (17,174) at Honda Center (35 regular season plus 12 playoff games). Anaheim’s sellout streak is the fourth-longest among U.S.-based NHL teams.
The Ducks have lost only four of the last 20 games IN REGULATION versus the Kings since the start of the 2005-06 season (12-4-4).
Anaheim has earned at least one point in 10 of their last 12 contests.
In their 10th consecutive game against Pacific Division opponents, the Ducks saw their record go to 6-2-2, giving them 14 of a possible 20 standings points.
Ryan Getzlaf extended his career-best point streak to eight games (6-6=12). He moves to tied for the longest active point streak in the NHL (Also Ovechkin (WSH) and Morrow (DAL)). It is also his first multi-goal game of the season and fifth of his career (last: 3/9/07 vs. EDM).
Mathieu Schneider has earned 2-7=9 points in the last eight games.
Andy McDonald has collected points in six of the last eight contests (1-5=6). He also has a four-game point streak at HOME (1-4=5).
With two assists this evening, Francois Beauchemin posted his second multi-point game of the season.
Todd Bertuzzi has earned points in consecutive games (0-3=3).
In eight home starts this season, J.S. Giguere has posted a 2.68 GAA (17 GA/380 min.) and .918 SV% (180-of-196 shots). In 36 home starts, dating back to the beginning of the 2006-07 regular season, Giguere has posted a 2.26 GAA (77 GA/2,040 min.) and .917 SV% (839-of-915 shots).
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks are able to clear the puck out of the zone with just seconds left, to barely hold on for the 3-2 victory.
19:10 - The Kings net is empty.
19:04 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. slashing. Scary time for the Ducks.
18:13 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. hooking. The play is whistled dead just before a loose puck is accidentally hit over the line by Beauchemin. The Kings fans in the crowd go crazy, but it's no goal. For the second straight game, it's a late power play with the Ducks up a goal. Let's hope it's not the same result.
16:54 - ANAHEIM GOAL - CHRIS KUNITZ - Kent Huskins takes a shot from the slot that clangs off the post. McDonald gets the rebound and feeds to Bertuzzi, whose shot ALSO hits off the post. But Kunitz is on the rebound and his shot hits nothing but net. The Ducks lead 3-2.
14:06 - Pronger rips another slap shot that LaBarbera saves, and the Kings sweep away the rebound all the way down for icing.
10:56 - We go into the TV timeout with the crowd pumped up, partly from the Getzlaf goal and partly from a hit to Kunitz's face a couple of minutes ago that went without a call.
8:02 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Bertuzzi hits Getzlaf on the right wing, and Getzlaf skates into the slot, moves the puck to his backhand and slips it through LarBarbera's legs. We're tied 2-2 and this crowd has come alive.
6:47 - ANA and LAK Penalties - ANA Travis Moen, 2 min. interference and LAK Dustin Brown, 2 min. tripping. We're 4 on 4 for a bit here.
During the timeout, the fan cam shows two teenage boys, and one waves to the camera before the other one grabs his head and pretends to kiss him. Then the kissing bandit looks into the camera as if to say, "No, I'm just kidding!" Kind of funny, actually.
4:43 - McDonald straddles the blue line enough to receive the puck behind the defense, but he falls to the ice before he gets off a soft backhand shot that's saved.
2:15 - Getzlaf tries to flip a shot that gets knocked away, and Pronger attempts to rips a one-timer on the rebound. Also denied.
1:34 - Pronger is alone on the low right wing, and tries to flip a shot that LaBarbera saves.
1:12 - LAK Penalty - Michal Handzus, 2 min. interference. Handzus hits Perry in front of the Kings net. Early opportunity for the Ducks.
0:00 - We drop the puck for the third, the Ducks needing a goal or two.
During the intermission, it's the return of What Would You Do for a Honda Ridgeline? The first contestant, a girl, says, "I'd become a Ducks sandwich," then proceeds to lie on the ground near a pond and allow a bunch of Ducks to feed off her body. That's followed by a shot of her diving into the dirty water to the tune of "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly. On the second one, a guy dresses up as George Parros, then pretends to fight a friend, while they're both on roller skates. That one wins by a landslide, according to the fan reaction.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks come on much stronger in the second, generating several chances, including a Ryan Getzlaf
deflection goal early into it. It's 2-1 Kings, but the momentum belongs to the team in black and orange.
19:40 - Bertuzzi makes another huge hit, this time on Derek Armstrong. Looks like there's blood.
19:25 - LaBarbera comes up big again, the final time by saving a Kunitz rebound attempt near the left post.
18:35 - LaBarbera knocks down a Schneider shot from the point, then snags the rebound out of the air with Sutherby all over him.
17:50 - Moen does a great job to redirect a Sean O'Donnell pass, and LaBarbera is lucky to save it.
17:10 - Parros gets off another shot, this one froom the slot, that LaBarbera stops. The enforcer is skating like a mad man tonight.
13:42 - Huskins and a Kings player collide while deflecting the puck out of the rink, and Huskins comes away dripping blood from the face.
12:31 - ANA Penalty - J.S. Giguere, 2 min. interference. Giguere bumps Calder as he chases a loose puck behind the net.
10:20 - Brian Sutherby's shot from the left wing goes wide. Sutherby looks good, skating with Getzlaf and Perry.
10:48 - For what seems like the 10th time in the last couple of games, Moen gets open in the slot and gets off a shot. It's saved and the Kings ice it.
9:58 - Parros pounces on a loose puck in the slot and it's just him and LaBarbera. The shot is stopped, and Parros gets sent hard into the net while trying to find the rebound. He's seen later laughing on the bench.
8:52 - Bertuzzi blasts Blake loudly into the boards, bringing this crowd to life. They cheer even louder when Cammalleri gets it on the breakaway and he's stonewalled by Giguere.
We're ready for our Carl's Jr. Trivia Challenge. Today's contestant is asked: Sydney Crosby is from the same hometown as 1.) Andy McDonald, 2.) Travis Moen or 3.) Joe DiPenta. It's DiPenta and he gets it right. Bonus: Can you name the town? Alas, he can not. It's Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, by the way.
5:45 - Getzlaf finds the puck again, on a breakaway, but Blake puts a stick on it. Getlaf can only fling a soft backhand toward the post.
3:43 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Beauchemin lets go of a wrister from above the left circle that Getzlaf (with his back to the net) deflects between his own legs. It gets through LaBarbera's legs as well. It's 2-1 Kings. Second assist goes to Schneider.
We've got an update on the tennis balls, the fans clad in flourescent yellow pullovers that sit behind the goal every game. There is a season-high four of them tonight, sitting five rows back.
1:38 - Hnidy takes a shot that bounces off LaBarbera, but he freezes it before McDonald charges into him trying to follow it.
0:00 - We're off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Kings outplay the Ducks, and it shows on the scoreboard, as their late goal from Dustin Brown gives them a 2-0 cushion.
19:30 - LOS ANGELES GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DUSTIN BROWN - On the power play, Blake takes a slap shot from above the right circle that Giguere stops but can't hold. Brown is right near him to chip in the rebound. It's 2-0 Kings.
19:09 - O'Sullivan snaps his stick attempting a shot from the circle. The Ducks come back the other way on a 3-on-2, as Marchant feeds Moen in the slot. But Moen's shot is snuffed out by LaBarbera.
17:49 - ANA Penalty - George Parros
, 2 min. boarding. Parros throws Jack Johnson into the wall. A few seconds later, several Ducks and Kings get into it after the whistle.
16:02 - Cammalleri makes a great pass to Visnovsky from behind the net, but the one-timer hits the post.
14:59 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. hooking. Pronger pulls down a Kings player in front of the Ducks net.
14:35 - Corey Perry
takes a shot while falling to the ice, and the rebound is swept away just before Sutherby can poke at it. An "awwwww" goes up from the crowd.
12:56 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - KYLE CALDER - Derek Armstrong makes a nice pass ahead to Michael Cammalleri on the right wing. Cammalleri slides it across the ice to a streaking Calder, who one-times it past Giguere. It's 1-0 Kings.
10:39 - LAK Penalty - Patrick O'Sullivan, 2 min. holding. The Ducks get another shot at the power play.
9:36 - Two Pronger blasts are kicked away by LaBarbera. Although, the second may have been deflected by Pahlsson in front.
8:37 - The Kings kill again.
8:22 - Brown steals the puck, then races down to take a shot that misses the cage. The Ducks come back the other way, as Beauchemin gets one off from the slot that also hits nothing but glass.
6:37 - LAK Penalty - Raitas Ivanans, 2 min. boarding. Ivanans shoves Kent Huskins into the boards behind the Ducks goal. Afterward, Shane Hnidy, Brad May and George Parros
come to his defense to knock around Ivanans.
5:55 - Getzlaf steals the puck in the Kings zone, but shots by Sutherby and Getzlaf are denied.
4:42 - The Kings kill it without much of a threat.
2:42 - LAK Penalty - Derek Armstrong, 2 min. boarding. Ducks go on their first power play.
Drew Miller is out for the Ducks with a strained left knee. Ladislav Nagy (healthy scratch) and Alexander Frolov (groin) are also out for the Kings.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center, following a rousing rendition of the anthem by Kristen Romero of the Irvine Police Department, decked out in full uniform (though I couldn't see if she was carrying her gun).
Starting Goaltenders: ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; LAK Jason LaBarbera
Starting Skaters: ANA Mathieu Schneider, George Parros
, Todd Marchant
, Francois Beauchemin, Brad May; LAK Rob Blake, Lubomir Visnovsky
, Michal Handzus, Raitis Ivanans, John Zeiler
Scratches: ANA Drew Miller, Mark Mowers, Joe DiPenta; LAK Alexander Frolov, Kevin Dallman, Ladislav Nagy