By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LOS ANGELES – The Ducks bussed up to Staples Center in search of their first victory of the young season.
They came away still looking for answers.
|The Ducks committed 10 minor penalties over the final two periods, leading to three Kings power play goals.
Anaheim’s 10 penalties over the final two periods paved the way to another head-shaking defeat, as rival Los Angeles dealt them a 6-3 rout that gave the young Kings their first victory of the year. The Ducks meanwhile, fell to 0-3-0 as they continue to find the penalty box far more often than the net. It's the worst start for the Ducks since they went 0-4-1 to begin the 2003-04 season.
"We know we're not playing well," said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. "We know the mistakes we're making and we know we can't do that. That's the bottom line. We just have to be ready to commit to our game plan and basically outwork the other team. Right now we're not doing that."
The already-struggling Kings were playing their first game without standout young defenseman Jack Johnson, who is out two to three months with a shoulder injury. But that didn't stop them from notching their first win in three tries.
“We’re not anywhere near accomplishing the things we’ve set out to do," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We’re not getting anything done in the work ethic side of the game. We’re swinging away and we're not working in the tough areas to get enough done.”
Anaheim looked good early in jumping in front 2-0 on goals by Brian Sutherby and Todd Marchant. But that was the extend of the Ducks' good vibes, as for the third time in as many games, the second period haunted them. This time the Ducks committed a troubling six penalties in the period, and the Kings took advantage with two power play goals that gave them a 3-2 lead they never relinquished.
Patrick O’Sullivan struck first with 5:40 left in the period and just a few seconds left on Brendan Morrison’s hooking minor. O’Sullivan sprang with the puck from behind the goal and stuffed it through Giguere’s leg pads.
The Kings took their first lead of the game with just 43 seconds left in the period, with the Ducks defending a 5 on 3 after hooking penalties to both Marchant and Giguere. The Kings patiently moved the puck on the man advantage before Jarret Stoll blistered a one-timer from the top of the circle into the top right corner of the cage. Giguere had put the Ducks on their heels when he hooked O’Sullivan in front of the net and sent him to the ice.
"It's a game of penalty kill and power plays, so you can't win by being in the box," Giguere said. "And I'm guilty of it tonight. I took a bad one and it kind of got their game going."
The Ducks worked hard to survive a previous 5 on 3 midway through the period, when both Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin were sent to the box for roughing in retaliation for a vicious shoulder-to-face hit Dustin Brown laid on Samuel Pahlsson.
Anaheim went into the third trailing by a goal, but instead of notching an equalizer, they instead dug themselves a bigger hole. Just 51 seconds into it, the Kings took a two-goal lead when Dustin Brown beat Scott Niedermayer to the puck and sent a cross-ice pass to Matt Moulson, who slung it over Giguere’s glove top shelf.
Midway through the session, Ryan Getzlaf ran into Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera to set up yet another power play goal for Los Angeles. Tom Preissing launched a slap shot from above the right circle that traveled through traffic and slipped under Giguere’s underarm.
|Sutherby (left) scored the first of the game, his first as a Duck, but it wasn't enough.
The Ducks did manage to get that third-period goal eventually, as Teemu Selanne made a nice move to the backhand on a breakaway to score his first of the season with 4:29 left. It was also the first Ducks goal this year from anyone among their top nine goal-scorers last year. But it was not nearly enough for Anaheim on this night.
The Kings added insult to injury when, with the Ducks net empty, Alexander Frolov took the puck from Chris Kunitz and sent it down the ice right between the pipes for the sixth L.A. goal.
The Ducks momentum early in the contest came when they added to their list of unlikely scorers finding the net. The first came just 1:46 into the game from Sutherby, who quickly fired a shot right off the faceoff that eluded LaBarbera.It was the first goal in 47 games with the Ducks for Sutherby, since joining the team in a trade with Washington last November.
At 7:12 into the period, Samuel Pahlsson sent a blind pass from behind the net to Todd Marchant in the circle, and Marchant whipped it underneath LaBarbera.
Just as the celebration was dying down though, Wayne Simmonds came back with a goal as Giguere was caught out of position and had to dive to stop a Sean O’Donnell shot from the slot. That gave Simmonds room to throw the puck into the top half of the net and cut the Ducks lead to 2-1.
From that point to the final horn, the Kings put five pucks in the net while Anaheim could only manage one. Purple and silver streamers fell from the Staples Center rafters when it ended, as the Kings earned their first win of the young season.
Kent Huskins was a healthy scratch for Anaheim, while Rob Niedermayer sat out the game while recovering from a bruised foot.
The Ducks come back less than 24 hours from now still in search of their first victory when they face Edmonton at Honda Center.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The clock hits triple-zero and purple-and-silver streamers fall from the rafters as the Kings lock up their first win of the year. The Ducks are still looking for their first and definitely looking for answers. It's a 6-3 Kings win.
18:48 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - ALEXANDER FROLOV - Chris Kunitz can't handle the puck in the Kings zone, so Frolov takes it from him and sends it down the ice where it stops right in the middle of the empty net.
15:31 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne slips in between two purple defensemen to take a pass from Ryan Carter and he's on a breakaway. He makes a slick move to his backhand before sending it over LaBarbera, seemingly with ease. The Ducks fans who were in this building must have already left, because the reaction to the goal is very subdued. First goal for the Ducks this season by anyone in their top nine goal-scorers from last year. It's 5-3 and I trhink it's safe to say it's too little too late for Anaheim.
12:21 - LA Penalty - Alexander Frolov, 2 min. hooking.
I rarely like being in this building. Right now I really hate it.
10:52 - KINGS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TOM PREISSING - Preissing takes a pass from Peter Harrold above the right circle and unleashes a slap shot that travels through traffic and somehow slips under Giguere's arm. It's 5-2 Kings and this is pretty depressing.
9:40 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. interference on the goaltender and 4 min. roughing and LA Penalty - Denis Gauthier, 4 min. roughing. After Getzlaf tries a shot, his follow-through takes him hard into LaBarbera and Denis Gauthier objects. He goes after Getzlaf as the two throw punches at each other behind the goal.
8:45 - Perry jumps off the bench and skates into the slot, where Selanne feeds him, but the shot is stopped by LaBarbera. Ducks look out of sync on this power play.
The Kings are playing well. Too bad there are no Kings fans here to see it. The few who are here and sitting below us seem to really hate Ryan Getzlaf.
6:55 - LA Penalty - Alexander Frolov, 2 min. cross checking. The Ducks desperately need something here.
6:09 - Sutherby springs from the box just as a Kings slap shot is deflected into the netting. I have to admit to being kind of relieved about that.
4:09 - Brian Sutherby, 2 min. charging. Another power play for L.A.
3:55 - A purple shot from the point clangs off the post and is barely cleared out of the crease.
0:51 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - MATT MOULSON - Dustin Brown just beats Scott Niedermayer to the puck along the right wing before sliding a cross-ice pass to Moulson. He quickly slings a shot over Giguere's glove and tucks it into the top right corner of the net. It's 4-2 Kings and the Ducks are in some serious trouble.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks needing one to tie this thing.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The second period haunts Anaheim yet again, as they commit six penalties and give up two goals to trail 3-2.
19:17 - LOS ANGELES GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JARRET STOLL - You could see this one coming from a mile away. The Kings at first look unwilling to ake a shot despite some openings, until Stoll takes a pass at the top of the circle from Kopitar and rips a one-timer that flies into the top right corner of the net. First goal as a King for Stoll and it's 3-2 Kings.
18:21 - ANA Penalty - J.S. Giguere, 2 min. hooking. Just when we think we've seen them all, it's Giguere who hooks O'Sullivan with his big goalie stick and O'Sullivan flops to the ice.
17:45 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. hooking. That's penalty No. 127 for the Ducks in this period.
15:55 - LaBarbera sits on the puck after a shot from the point and doesn't know where it is, but he gets a a quick whistle as both Sutherby and May try to poke it in when it squirts out from under him.
14:20 - LOS ANGELS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - PATRICK O'SULLIVAN - O'Sullivan controls the puck behind the net and sees daylight before springing toward the crease and sliding the puck under Giguere. Bit of a breakdown for both the Ducks D and the goalie. We're tied 2-2.
12:27 - ANA Penalty - Brendan Morrison, 2 min. hooking. Ducks spending some penalty kill time in the last few minutes.
11:44 - Beauchemin, who has been looking to drill Brown for the last minute, finally sends him tumbling to the sheet as Brown tries to pick up his dropped stick.
9:21 - The Ducks get an absolutely huge kill on a 5 on 3 with both Niedermayer and Beauchemin not available, as they clear it the length of the ice with just a couple seconds left in the penalties. Giguere makes several key saves in the sequence.
7:21 - ANA Penalties - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. cross checking and Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. roughing. Dustin Brown pastes Samuel Pahlsson with a shoulder to the face, so Niedermayer skates over and drills Brown with a crosscheck. Just when Brown is thinking of retaliating, Beauchemin jumps in as if to say, "Uh, don't do that" and gives it to Brown a bit. Meanwhile, play goes on away from the scene. Penalties for the two Ducks. For Brown? Nada.
5:16 - LA Penalty - Peter Harrold, 2 min. hooking. It gets made up to them.
4:50 - ANA Penalty - Ken Klee, 2 min. hooking. It's the Ducks who get the hooking call against them. Power play Kings.
3:00 - Marchant steals a pass and heads out on a breakaway, looking to clearly get hooked from behind before trying a centering pass to Moen that Travis almost scores on. No call.
2:17 - Getzlaf doesn't like the way Denis Gauthier went after Perry after LaBarbera freezes the puck, so ge grabs his jersey from behind and about eight skaters hold each other near the glass. Not much more than that.
The organist plays "American Boy," that song by what's-her-name and Kanye West. Sounded nice.
1:46 - It's strange seeing Sean O'Donnell in a Kings jersey. I know he played here before, but it's still strange.
0:00 - We're underway in the second.
Late in the intermission they air a video segment in which the mascot Bailey is apparently sick and rushed to the hospital by a Kings player. And in surgery they extract from his stomach a ... stuffed duck, then toss it in the trash bin. (It actually misses the trash been right before they zoom in on it, but why quibble?) I hope they're not spending a lot of money on these things. Ever notice it seems they hate us more than we hate them? It's like when a little brother absolutely can't stand his bullying big brother. Meanwhile, the big brother is annoyed by the little brother, but not nearly to the same degree. Yeah, it's kind of like that.
As promised, the Kings had something special cooked up for the video board for the first intermission. In a segment shot during four Kings players' stint on "The Price is Right" they are each asked to bid on a Ducks jersey. One King bids a quarter and says he'll wash his car with it, another shakes his head, another elects to "pass" and Dustin Brown bids $1. Drew Carey tells them they've all overbid, followed by the entire audience yelling, "Go Kings Go!" Not bad. Not great, but not bad.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks survive the penalty kill at the end of the stanza and hold on to a 2-1 lead put in place by goals from Sutherby and Marchant. It's the first period the Ducks have won this season.
19:12 - ANA Penalty - Ken Klee, 2 min. high sticking. Klee gets O'Sullivan in the face as he rides him into the back boards.
15:01 - Sutherby-Carter-Parros line for the Ducks. That means a goal is coming within seconds.
13:10 - Selanne gets near the right post and tries to flip a backhand high, but LaBarbera stomachs it.
12:40 - LA Penalty - Drew Doughty, 2 min. hooking. Just when the Kings kill the last penalty, they earn another one.
They just changed the scoring on the first Anaheim goal and correctly credited it to Sutherby with McIver earning the assist. Not sure how they missed it the first time. First goal for Sutherby as a Duck and first point for McIver as a Duck (he had the game-winning goal in a preseason game in Vancouver).
First timeout and look at the Kings ice girls! They look fantastic from here. Then again, I've got one of the worst seats in the house.
10:26 - LA Penalty - Derek Armstrong, 2 min. slashing. As Giguere tries to cover up a loose puck, Derek Armstrong charges into him way too aggressively and knocks Giguere into the net. Sutherby immediately jums on him and we have a mini-brawl going. Brad May and Matt Greene engage in a little tussle and each get five for fighting. Not sure why Armstrong's penalty was slashing
, but either way the Ducks get a power play.
7:45 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - WAYNE SIMMONDS - After the puck bounces in front of the Ducks net, Giguere is out of position and has to dive to stop a Sean O'Donnell shot, allowing Simmonds to throw it through. First career goal for Simmonds and it's 2-1. At this rate, we're looking at a 10-8 game. Then again, maybe not.
7:12 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TODD MARCHANT - Samuel Pahlsson digs the puck out from behing the KIngs net and sends a blind pass to Marchant in the circle. He slings it along the ice and it gets through LaBarbera five hole. It's 2-0 Ducks. Here are your Ducks leading scorers this season: Rob Niedermayer, George Parros, Ryan Carter, Brian Sutherby and Todd Marchant. It's 2-0 Anaheim.
1:48 - It was only a matter of time, but George Parros
scraps with LA tough guy Ritas Ivanans. It's a lot of shirt-grabbing and circling with not too many hard punches landed, before Ivanans throws a few and eventually wrestles Parros to the ice.
1:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BRIAN SUTHERBY- Right off the draw, Sutherby quick-fires from the edge of the faceoff circle and it somehow spins through LaBarbera. They announce the goal for McIver, though it clearly looked like Sutherby, which would make it his first goal as a Duck.
Absolutely terrible crowd here in the early going. Tons of empty seats, especially behind each goal. Although, when your team is average 0.5 goals a game, there's not much to see there. I'd say this place is about half full.
0:10 - My apologies to the readers I misled this afternoon. Looks like "rinkside view" is still in place. Can't tell you how happy that makes me. And I'm sure all of you.
0:00 - We're underway at the purple pavilion.
7:39 p.m. - A moment of silence for the recently departed Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov, in which Kings fans miraculously resist the urge to shout, "Ducks suck!" That's followed by the anthem by perfect-haired Davis Gaines, who seems awfully pleased with himself as he oversings it.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; LA Jason LaBarbera
Starting Skaters - ANA Francois Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer Chris Kunitz, Brendan Morrison, Teemu Selanne
; LA Sean O'Donnell, Drew Doughty, Matt Moulson, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown
Scratches - ANA Kent Huskins, Rob Niedermayer; LA Brad Richardson, Kyle Calder, Kyle Quincey