By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LOS ANGELES - On a night when America picked its next president, the Ducks pulled off the equivalent of losing the popular vote but winning the election.
The Ducks didn't look their best against the rival Kings and couldn’t find the net through 60 minutes, but they stole the 1-0 victory when Chris Pronger dented the net just 40 seconds into overtime.
|Pronger scored the game's first goal 40 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks the 1-0 victory.
"It wasn't perfect," said Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who saved the Ducks with 35 saves for his 31st career shutout. "We'd like to be better, but it's a step in the right direction. We know we can be better."
Just after a Wayne Simmonds hooking minor from near the end of the third period had expired, Pronger one-timed a Teemu Selanne pass in near the right wing faceoff circle that ticked off the underside of the crossbar and hit twine. Pronger fired his right fist into the air just before being mobbed by his teammates in front of the reported 14,327 at Staples Center.
"I knew the guy was coming out of the box so I shot it, luckily it went off the crossbar and in," said Pronger. "We did enough to win, but that's not good enough for this group."
It was the first shot to strike paydirt for the Ducks after their first 26 attempts were all stopped by 26-year-old netminder Erik Ersberg.
On the other side of the ice, Anaheim rode the exploits of Giguere, who bailed out the Ducks on a night when the Kings had the puck in the Anaheim zone for a majority of the game. But Giguere made big save after big save to keep L.A. off the scoreboard.
"We found a way to gut it out," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "Our goaltender gave us a chance to win and that's all you can ask."
|Jean-Sebastien Giguere was outstanding for the Ducks, stopping all 35 Kings shots for his 31st career save.
It was the first time the Kings were shut out by the Ducks at home in 43 games between the two teams.
The Kings continued a trend of saving their best for their rivals, as the loss dropped them to 3-6-2 on the season. Anaheim improved to 8-5-1 and has now earned at least one standings point in each of the last eight (the longest current streak in the NHL).
"On the road it might not be perfect, but the important thing is we got two points," said Giguere. "Every time we played the Kings so far in either exhibition or regular season, they've given us a run for our money."
The win was sweet revenge for a 6-3 trouncing the Kings handed the Ducks exactly three weeks ago, when Anaheim was in the middle of a 1-5-0 start to the season.
Ersberg did everything he could for the Kings, as he made his first start of the season after getting into 14 games last year. Meanwhile, the Ducks got away with giving the Kings plenty of power play time after taking seven minor penalties. The two teams combined for 11 minor penalties over the first two periods, with no damage done by either side. The Ducks even survived a four-minute Rob Niedermayer roughing penalty, which was partly offset when Michal Handzus was whistled for hooking during the power play.
The Ducks played their second straight game without enforcer George Parros, who suffered a scratched cornea last Friday night against Vancouver.
The 0-0 tie through regulation was just the second such instance in 85 all-time meetings between the teams. The last time they went to overtime scoreless, was April 14, 2002 at L.A., a game the Kings won 1-0 in overtime.
Anaheim will look to continue its roll tomorrow night when they take on the St. Louis Blues at Honda Center. It’s the first of six straight home games for the Ducks.
0:40 - ANAHEIM GOAL - CHRIS PRONGER - The Ducks do a lot of moving the puck on the power play with no shots. Then just after it expires, Selanne feeds Pronger in the slot and he fires a one-timer that ticks the underside of the crossbar and finds net. The Ducks take it 1-0 in OT.
0:00 - Here we go.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - The Ducks mostly survive in the third and it remains scoreless as we're going to overtime. Only the second game that was 0-0 after regulation in 85 meetings between the Ducks and Kings. I won't tell you what happened in that other game right now. The Ducks get some more power play time when overtime starts.
19:57 - The Ducks can't get much going on the power play.
18:36 - LAK Penalty - Wayne Simmonds, 2 min. hooking. Might be the break the Ducks need.
17:40 - We've got 2:20 left and something's gotta give here.
14:37 - As Moen flips the puck into the crease from behind the net, it hits off a Kings d-man and nearly gets through. Can't say I would have minded that.
13:40 - Morrison had a wide open shot after a Selanne feed, and shoots it well over the crossbar. He's definitely squeezing the stick these days.
11:45 - Selanne gets free in the slot and sends a backhand off Ersberg. First Ducks shot since 6:24 into the period.
They announce 14,327 in here tonight. Not sure about that.
11:40 - Kopitar has a wide open net as he tries to one-time it from near the right post, but somehow it doesn't go. I'm still not sure where that missed.
10:40 - Giguere has a little trouble, but ultimately pounces on a Preissing shot from the point.
9:11 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter
, 2 min. roughing. First penalty of the period and the seventh of the game for Anaheim.
8:15 - A Quincey slap shot from the red line nearly eludes Giguere, as he makes a last-second kick save.
7:17 - Trying to defend near the Anaheim net, Selanne nearly knocks it past Giguere.
Bailey leads a chant of "Let's go, Kings!" by banging on a drum right in front of us up here. Pretty obnoxious, but no more so than the continuously screaming drunk guy.
5:25 - Giguere is absolutely carrying the Ducks on his back right now. He's got 30 stops and it seems like a lot more.
3:45 - A backhand shot from a Kings player from just behind the net gets behind Giguere and slides through the crease. Kings putting a lot of pressure on right now.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
At the intermission, they re-run that "Price is Right" skit where the Kings players bid on a Ducks jersey. Seen it. If you're interested, the episode where the Kings were on the show airs tomorrow. If you're interested.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And we're right where we were when we started this thing, with no score. The Kings have taken 26 shots, and the Ducks have taken 19.
18:12 - The Ducks squash the penalty.
18:01 - Giguere steps out to glove a Kyle Quincey shot, one of several saves he has made on this power play.
16:12 - ANA Penalty - Teemu Selanne
, 2 min unsportsmanlike conduct. Not sure what that was, but I imagine an official heard something he didn't like in a Finnish accent.
Among the fans shown on the video board during the TV timeout is a baby in a Kings sweatshirt. What are the child abuse laws in this county?
I know he'd been here before, but I still can't get used to seeing Sean O'Donnell in the Kings uni. The fact that he's wearing No. 6 isn't helping.
12:41 - The Ducks just don't look sharp tonight. Lots of passes missing their targets. Thankfully, the goalie looks just fine.
"I Kissed a Girl" on the arena sound system. I can't think of a joke.
11:23 - It's Frolov again, as he tags a slapper from the slot that Giguere snatches out of the air with the glove.
11:00 - The Ducks turn it over, sending Frolov on a breakaway, but Giguere thwarts the move to the backhand.
9:58 - Niedermayer's penalty runs out.
9:22 - Rookie Drew Doughty makes a heck of a play, going down the ice to defend Getzlaf and reaching back to swipe the puck away just as Getzy is about to feed Pronger on the doorstep. Might have saved a goal. Doughty is a heck of a player. He'll be gone in two years.
They honor some soldier on the video screen and spell his rank "Captian." They're on fire tonight. Can't figure out why this team is in last place. Then again, I probably have a half dozen typos in this thing, so maybe I should keep it down.
7:18 - LAK Penalty - Michal Handzus, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks get bailed out again. No wonder the Kings mascot is named Bailey. (Okay, that was awful. My apologies.)
6:45 - Giguere makes a miraculous reach-back save on Calder in the crease, that was so unreal the crowd thought it was a goal. Calder was looking at a wide open net and somehow Giguere slapped it away with the glove.
5:58 - ANA Penalty - Rob Niedermayer, 4 min. roughing and Travis Moen, 2 min. roughing and LAK Penalty - Brian Boyle, 2 min. roughing. Moen and Niedermayer tangle with Brian Boyle and Tom Preissing after Boyle boards Robbie into the wall, and Robbie wants to throw down. But he's quickly wrestled to the sheet by Boyle. Not much of a fighter that Robbie. The Ducks are on the penalty kill for four straight minutes. I could have been wrong, but I think Robbie bonked the penalty box camera with his stick when he got in there. Classic.
4:55 - The Ducks look like they have something going on the rush, but Perry is denied when Matt Greene slides to the ice to block his shot.
A guy sitting a few rows in front of us decided now is a good time to go on a screaming rampage, as he yells, "I hate the Ducks! Why can't you beat these guys?! You look like a Pee-Wee team out there!" Nice fans they've got here. Please get that guy another vodka cranberry.
2:19 - The Kings kill again, as the Ducks power play has looked anything but powerful.
1:20 - In the first wave of the power play, the Ducks had six guys on the ice who should be on the newly released All-Star ballot, and only four who actually were.
0:19 - LAK Penalty - Oscar Moller, 2 min interference. The Kings were challenged to get a penalty earlier than the one they got in the first, and they pulled it off.
A reader named Cassie just pointed out that I reported at the 10:47 mark that Giguere made a save on a shot by Daniel Carcillo. Daniel Carcillo plays for the Coyotes. Not sure what's going through my head tonight. Must be the cold.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And it's a period where the most exciting thing that happened was a shot off the post and an election update. Eleven shots for the Ducks, 10 for the Kings. No goals.
18:50 - Pahlsson's redirect try from just outside the paint clanks off the post, and the Ducks miss the net with Ersberg sprawled on his back.
The video board shows Obama leading McCain 297-139, drawing the loudest cheer of the night from the crowd.
17:01 - The Ducks escape with no damage, and hardly a Kings shot, which prompted one Kings fan to sarcastically yell, "POWER PLAAAAY" to his team. Because there are about 800 people in hear, they probably heard him.
The video board shows Kings Crew girl Teri, whose page on the Kings website we were shaking our heads over before the game. Here's why.
The frozen yogurt with the Oreo and chocolate chip topping in the press dining room might have been a mistake. And it's not just because it's about 38 degrees in this freakin' press box right now.
15:01 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. holding the stick. Kings power play comes when they're already controlling the game in the last few minutes.
14:50 - The Ducks are getting worked in the Kings zone right now. Might want to pick it up.
Not that you're looking here for election updates, but word is NBC and ABC just called it for Obama. It's funny the difference 35 minutes makes. When they showed the update before the game on the video board, people cheered. At Honda Center, they might have booed.
12:20 - Perry gets in deep, but slams the puck against Ersberg's leg pad. Just found out tonight it's pronounced AIRS-berg, not ERS-berg. Important information.
Hey, Rinkside View is back! Please, PLEASE no emails.
I forgot to mention it, but George Parros is not in there tonight as he still recovers from that scratched cornea he suffered last Friday night. He's sitting by me up here in the press box and that eye looks pretty beat up. I asked him if he hoped to play tomorrow night and he said, "I was hoping to play
10:47 - Giguere makes a nice stop on a point blank shot by Peter Harrold.
And here comes the traditional playing of the "Adams Family" theme song with the crowd chanting "Ducks suck!" at the appropriate times. Or, inappropriate when you consider the Kings are dead last and NOBODY sucks compared to them right now.
They honor some girl in the crowd with "King for a Day," thought I'm not sure what that means. I do know that the guy sitting next to her is getting a shoulder massage by one of the Kings Crew girls. That sounds like a nice deal. They'll do anything to draw people in this building.
First timeout and first appearance of the Ice Girls tonight. I haven't seen this many starving actresses in one place since ... well, since the last time I had a meal out in L.A.
9:20 - Montador gives Wayne Simmonds an absolute shot in front of the Ducks bench.
5:31 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. hooking. Just as Montador looks to head off on a rush, he's stopped by the whistle.
5:28 - Giguere snatches a Peter Harrold shot out of the air with the glove.
3:06 - Getzlaf makes a pretty move to the net and feeds Perry, but he's denied by Ersberg as the net is knocked off.
The Ducks are almost playing to the level of the Kings and the crowd. Slightly sluggish to start.
2:20 - LAK Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Wow.
This place is half full and it is dead silent as the Ducks move the puck on the power play. I've seen training camp practices where the crowd was louder.
0:28 - LAK Penalty - Drew Doughty, 2 min. hooking. Doughty puts the stick into Selanne's gut, slowing him as he crosses the blue line.
0:00 - And we're underway at Staples Center.
7:38 p.m. - John Lloyd Young from the musical "Jersey Boys" sings the anthem. His middle name is misspelled on the video screen. Good start, Kings.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; LAK Erik Ersberg
Starting Skaters - ANA Francois Beauchemin., Scott Niedermayer, Rob Niedermayer, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen; LAK Sean O'Donnell, Drew Doughty, Oscar Moller, Alexander Frolov, Jarret Stoll
Scratches - ANA George Parros
, Brad May; LAK Derek Armstrong, John Zeiler, Brad Richardson
Ersberg gets his first start of the season after having a solid rookie year near the close of 2007-08