ANAHEIM – Five straight victories put the Ducks within striking distance of the Los Angeles Kings’ hold on the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. But those very Kings emphatically denied Anaheim a chance to get any closer.
Three goals in the second period paved the way to a 4-0 Kings victory at Staples Center, snapping Anaheim’s win streak and giving Los Angeles its first win in the last four games. Meanwhile, it improved the Kings’ lead over the Ducks to six standings points.
“We’ve played pretty well as of late. We didn’t play well tonight," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.
Goalie Jonathan Quick's first shutout of the season was only the second all-time for the Kings against the Ducks.
The Ducks were buried by a bad middle session in which they were scored on three times, including a disputed goal with just 2.8 seconds left in the period. Wayne Simmonds threw a shot from the corner off the side of the net, where it bounced into the crease and was kicked backwards by Giguere, who couldn’t locate it. Giguere seemingly froze the puck under his skate and the official on top of the play indicated no goal. But a video review overturned the call on the ice.
Giguere had entered the game after starter Jonas Hiller gave up his third goal 12:43 into the second period. That came courtesy of Dustin Brown, who beautifully redirected an Alexander Frolov pass after Frolov spun around Scott Niedermayer on the rush.
Prior to that, Scott Parse got a piece of a Rob Scuderi point shot that deflected off Sheldon Brookbank’s leg before getting under Hiller.
Los Angeles scored the game’s first goal on a deflection as well, as Michal Handzus tipped in a Jack Johnson shot with his back to the net.
"The goals that they got, the first two, anyway, were deflections," Carlyle said. "They just threw the puck at the net. I think there were a couple of deflections on the second one. Then we get bit by a goal, I don’t know if we could tell if the puck went in the net, but obviously someone out on the ice did.”
Neither team found the net in a third period that regardless saw plenty of action, as the Ducks and Kings got tangled in several scraps after whistles. In all, 69 penalty minutes were handed out (47 for Anaheim), including two minutes for roughing, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for Bobby Ryan following a hit on the Kings’ Oscar Moller that sent Moller tumbling into the wall. That sparked a brawl with 7.1 seconds left in the game that involved every skater on the ice.
"I think the frustration level certainly set in," Ryan said. "I think we’ve said before, that our team is a team that gets frustrated and loses all composure there, and I think you saw the result of it in the (third period).”
The Ducks, already playing without Teemu Selanne, who had surgery on a fractured jaw earlier in the day and it out two to six weeks, lost center Saku Koivu to a lower body injury in that frustrating second period.
“We had lost Teemu earlier in the year with his hand injury, so you know what, I don’t think you can pinpoint it on saying that, well, we didn’t play well tonight or we didn’t win the game tonight because we didn’t have Teemu Selanne," said Ducks forward Todd Marchant. "There’s nothing against Teemu, he’s a great player for us, a great leader. But we just didn’t have our game tonight and, you know, bottom line is they wanted it more than we did in a lot of situations. And we just didn’t work hard enough and compete hard enough in certain areas and it showed.
"You can tell they were hungry for this game and they wanted it more than we did. It’s our job now to focus on the next game on Sunday and be ready to come back and bounce back and play a better game at home.”
20:00 - This one comes to a merciful end as the Ducks fall 4-0.
19:52 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. roughing, 5 min. major charging and game misconduct and LAK Penalty - Oscar Moller, 2 min. roughing. Fresh out of the box after serving the Perry penalty, Bobby Ryan absolutely drills Oscar Moller into the wall, sparking a brawl involving all eight skaters on the ice. Ryan is sent to the locker room for the rest of the night, or rather the last 7.1 seconds.
18:56 - LAK Penalty - Wayne Simmonds, 2 min. hooking. Festerling is upended by Simmonds behind the Anaheim net. Yikes.
18:52 - ANA Mike Brown, 2 min. cross checking. More pushing and shoving after the whistle in the game that won't end.
17:35 - ANA Corey Perry, 2 min. slashing and 10 min. misconduct. Tempers continue to flare as Perry slashes Frolov and tries to get involved in a scrum that the official is trying to keep him out of.
15:20 - Not long after getting out of the box for his boarding penalty, Carter gets into a feverish fight with Kings heavyweight Raitis Ivanans. He lands a couple of shots at Carter's head before it's broken up.
11:44 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter, 2 min. boarding. Carter brings a gathering after knocking Brown into the wall in front of the Kings bench. He's pretty much hated right now by the Kings.
10:33 - Simmonds again getting into it with a Ducks player, this time Brookbank, as the two throw a number of left hooks at each other before Brookbank takes Simmonds down to the ice. Both get 5.
10:01 - Simmonds narrowly misses digging out the puck and putting the fifth goal in.
9:38 - Ugghh. Ducks can't get one on the power play.
7:42 - Ducks have a 5-on-3 now.
7:38 - LAK Penalty - Randy Jones, 2 min. interference. Yet another trip to the box for the Kings, as Jonas knocks down Eminger behind the Kings net. Penalty won't start until the Dustin Brown roughing penalty expires in four seconds.
6:50 - LAK Penalty - Jarret Stoll, 2 min. holding. Stoll holds onto Scott Niedermayer to deny Niedermayer a chance at a breakaway. Here's something you don't see everyday -- 3-on-3 hockey.
Cast members from the show Jersey Shore are in attendance tonight and are shown on the video board. A classy group indeed.
6:03 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Whitney, 2 min. roughing. A nice Giguere stop is followed by Whitney throwing punches at Brad Richardson after the whistle. Whitney gets the gate.
5:42 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter and LAK Penalty - Dustin Brown, 2 min. each roughing. A fierce Carter and Brown fight in front of the Ducks bench puts a stop to what looked like it would have been a legit Kings scoring chance. Carter took a shot at Doughty and Brown stepped in to take on Carter.
2:10 - After the Kings clear, Giguere tries to send the puck up ice and throws it off Niedermayer. Not the Ducks' night so far.
1:37 - LAK Penalty - Jack Johnson, 2 min. holding. Johnson gets too aggressive defending Ryan. During the delayed whistle, Wisniewski forces his way in and tries to jam it under Quick, but can't do it. Saku Koivu left in the second with what is being called a lower body injury and will not return. 0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A bad one for the Ducks, who give up three, including a dubious late one, to go down 4-0.
19:57 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - WAYNE SIMMONDS - With just seconds left on the clock, Simmonds throws the puck off the side of the net from the corner and it bounces in front. Giguere can't find the puck in the paint and kicks it behind himself before freezing it under his skate, and the official standing right on the goal indicates no goal. There is a video review to see if it actually did cross, and you can't see the puck under Giguere's skate and leg pad from the overhead view. Regardless, officials determine it's a goal, even though there seemingly is no visual proof the puck was over the line. Meanwhile, after the whistle, Getzlaf and Wayne Simmonds go after it in front of the Anaheim net, grabbing each other and throwing several body blows before Simmons wrestles Getzlaf to the ice. Wow. A lot of action there, and it's 4-0 Kings.
19:00 - Big save by Giguere as the Kings get on a rush after Niedermayer's stick snaps on a shot. Brown makes a pass to Frolov from his knees after getting pushed down by Niedermayer from behind and Giguere stops the point blank shot.
15:22 - Chipchura's got an open net off a feed in front from the corner by Bodie, but it goes under the stick. Missed opportunity for sure.
Chant of "Anaheim su-ucks" from some in the crowd. Doesn't really flow well.
13:38 - Chipchura knocks Smythe down hard in front of the Anaheim bench.
13:25 - Niedermayer tries to sneak a shot through, but can't.
12:43 - Giguere in for Hiller, Giguere's first action since January 3 against Chicago.
12:43 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - DUSTIN BROWN - An admitedly pretty play as Frolov spins around Niedermayer on the rush and backhands the puck in front, where Brown tips it under Hiller as he's falling down from a push by Whitney. It's 3-0 Kings.
11:55 - Perry one-times it off Quick.
11:38 - Beleskey with the best Ducks scoring chance in awhile, a wrist shot from deep on the left wing, but Quick is ready for it.
9:40 - Doughty shows off some serious speed carrying the puck deep into the Anaheim end.
6:02 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - SCOTT PARSE - Another deflection in front bites the Ducks, as Scuderi fires from the point and Parse gets a piece of it in the slot before it ticks off Brookbank's leg and sneaks under Hiller. It's 2-0 Kings.
5:45 - Timely kill for the Ducks.
4:05 - Hiller with a nice stop on a straightaway point shot by Doughty.
3:45 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. hooking. Getzlaf gets his stick under Brown's arm and is caught when the stick goes flying. He doesn't agree with the call.
2:48 - Stoll runs over Hiller following a shot from the wing, but no call as officials determine he was pushed by Brookbank.
1:52 - Koivu gets space and rips a slap shot from in deep off Quick's shin pad.
0:46 - Kings kill it pretty easily. No Anaheim shots.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, Ducks on the power play. So get lou ... sorry, wrong arena.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Quick makes his 10th save just before the horn, as the Kings cling to that 1-0 lead through one period. The Ducks get 46 seconds of power play time and a clean sheet when we come back.
17:56 - LAK Penalty - Ryan Smythe, 2 min. unsportsmanlike conduct. Think you can't get a penalty when you're already in the box? Smythe proves that wrong, probably with some chirping from the bin. Ducks get some good PP time.
Organ music gets the fans going with a "Hiiiiillllerrrrr" chant.
17:56 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - MICHAL HANDZUS - During a 4-on-4, Jack Johnson wrists a shot from the point that Handzus redirects with his back to Hiller. It's 1-0 Kings.
16:45 - LAK Penalty - Ryan Smyth, 2 min. interference. Smythe with some contact with Wisniewski behind the Anaheim net and the Ducks get bailed out. Wisniewski sold it pretty well.
16:03 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. holding. Perry gets tangled with Frolov, riled up after getting knocked down by Scuderi in front of the Kings net. Not sure a hold was the right call, but Perry is in the box.
15:20 - Perry slings it wide right and wants a call after he was manhandled by Brown.
13:35 - Wisniewski has room for a one-timer from the slot, but whiffs on it.
12:30 - Ducks having trouble finding a lot of room out there.
9:50 - Nice kick save by Hiller on a Doughty point shot.
Lots of excitement in this building right now. And when I "lots" I mean "a complete lack."
6:45 - Carter gets a welcome-back check from Ivanans that sends him spinning.
4:50 - Getzlaf fires into Quick's gut. Perry gets behind him, but no rebound available.
4:10 - Hiller just does escape from a puck that almost bounces by him on a redirect try by Frolov in front.
2:50 - Ryan Carter out there after being healthy scratched the last five games. He's with Nokelainen and Brown. Artyukhin wears his suit tonight.
2:30 - Second line of Sexton, Koivu and Ryan active in the early going.
0:55 - Hiller makes his first stop on a heavy wrister by Dustin Brown.
0:00 - And we're underway at Staples Center.
7:38 p.m. - The comely Rachel Stark delivers the anthem in a way that makes me think the song was written by Francis Scott Off Key.
7:26 p.m. - Kings pregame entertainment package begins with the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" in which the lyrics go, "I gotta feeling, that tonight's gonna be a good night..." Let's hope not for the home team.