ANAHEIM – One long streak was shattered and another endured, and just at the right time for the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks put a stop to the Kings’ club-record nine-game winning streak in taking their 10th straight at Honda Center in a 4-2 victory that kept Anaheim still within shouting distance of a Western Conference playoff spot. That 10th straight home win tied a club record set February 17 to March 26, 2008, culminating (coincidentally) with a win over the Kings.
"When you’re at home, you need to go out and make the place a war zone out there," said Corey Perry, who had a goal and two assists. "It should be hard place for the other team to come in and play."
Anaheim was also able to avenge a disappointing loss four nights ago to the Kings in Los Angeles, the only defeat in the last five games for the Ducks.
"We didn’t have a great game up there in L.A. the other night," Perry said. "We had a couple of days off. We rested and skated yesterday. We were full of energy and wanted to prove that we can play with top teams."
The Ducks got a boost from a three-goal second period and a strong defensive third with the help of Jonas Hiller’s 35 saves to beat the fourth-place Kings for the first time in four tries this season. With the win, the Ducks climbed to within four points of the a seventh spot in the conference, three back of Nashville’s eighth spot (though the Predators have two games in hand).
Saku Koivu, Ryan Getzlaf and Perry each lit the lamp in that pivotal middle session to give the Ducks a two-goal lead they never surrendered. Perry, whose name was called plenty in the period, set up the first tally with a pretty blind drop pass from behind the net that Getzlaf banged home.
About 2 1/2 minutes later, an apparent Perry goal was waved off when it was determined he interfered with goalie Jonathan Quick while punching in a rebound off a Wisniewski point shot. To make things worse, Getzlaf sprained his ankle trying to avoid Wisniewski's shot, immediately headed to the locker room and did not return to the game. X-rays were negative, and Getzlaf -- who left Honda Center in a walking boot -- is scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow.
Koivu came through on the power play not long after Perry's waved-off goal, picking up a rebound of his own on a Teemu Selanne shot and sending it through with the backhand to put the Ducks up 3-1.
Anze Kopitar scored his third goal in the last two games against the Ducks late in the period, but Anaheim bounced back just 24 seconds later thanks to more heroics from Perry. And he made it happen almost by himself, weaving into the Los Angeles end before slinging a wrist shot just past the kicked-out leg pad of Quick.
The Ducks and Kings were deadlocked 1-1 after the first, as Selanne erased an early Kings lead with his ninth power play strike with 1:30 left. With the Ducks on a 5 on 3, Selanne was initially robbed by a diving Quick, but Perry picked up the loose puck and fired a shot that was blocked in front. Selanne flipped the loose puck barely inside the far post for the 597th goal of his career.
Anaheim’s play at the other end of the rink was the story of the final 20 minutes, as Hiller stopped all 18 shots, including several from point blank.
"We knew we had to play better than the last game," Hiller said, noting the four days without games after that loss in L.A. "We had a lot of energy. Those three days without a game were definitely good for us. We tried to put pressure on them and not let them get in the game."
The Ducks face a critical three games before the Olympic break -- starting Wednesday night at home against Edmonton -- in their continuing quest to get into postseason position.
"We know we have to win as many as possible," Hiller said. "For us right now, the goal is the playoffs."
The Ducks have won four of the last five games (4-1-0) overall and are 12-5-0 in the last 17.
The club has extended its win streak at HOME to a franchise record-tying 10 games (also Feb. 17-Mar. 26, 2008). The streak is the third-longest in the NHL this season (Washington 11, Phoenix 10) and is the second-longest CURRENT streak (Washington). The Ducks have picked up points at home in 11 straight (10-0-1), 15 of the last 16 (13-1-2) and 18 of 20 (16-2-2).
Corey Perry matched his season-high single-game scoring total with 1-2=3 points tonight (third time, last: Oct. 30 vs. VAN). He extended his scoring streak at HOME to seven games (3-6=9) and now has a four-game point streak overall (2-4=6).
Teemu Selanne scored his 597th goal this evening (1-1=2 points tonight). He is now four goals from matching Jari Kurri at 17th on the all-time goals list with 601. His two points tonight also moved him into a share of 35th in all-time points (597-642=1,239; also Peter Stastny). In addition, Selanne’s assist gave him sole possession of 58th in all-time assists and is now three assists shy of a share of 57th (Bobby Orr, 645). Since his return from injury (fractured jaw), he has scored 2-2=4 points in four contests.
Ryan Getzlaf extended his point streak to five games (2-6=8) with a goal this evening. He has also earned points in 12 of the last 13 HOME games (6-10=16) he’s played in.
With an assist tonight, Scott Niedermayer has earned 0-7=7 points in the last eight HOME games.
Saku Koivu recorded his ninth multiple-point game of the season with 1-1=2 points tonight. He has earned 1-2=3 points in the last two games.
Ryan Whitney has a three-game point streak (1-2=3), tying his longest of the season (also Dec. 1-4, 1-3=4).
Hiller has won four of his last five starts (4-1-0), stopping 169-of-179 shots for a .944 SV% and 1.97 GAA (10 GA/305 MIN) during that span. In the last 16 games, he has gone 12-4-0 with a .928 SV% (477-of-514) and 2.36 GAA (37 GA/940 MIN) during that span. In his last 24 appearances, Hiller has compiled a 17-7-0 mark with a 2.39 GAA (56 GA/1408 MIN) and .928 SV% (718-of-774).
Tonight’s attendance was 16,033.
3rd Period 20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks polish off a 4-2 victory over the Kings, snapping L.A.'s nine-game winning streak and clinching Anaheim's 10th straight at home.
18:56 - Off the draw the puck squirts out of the zone as the seconds wind down, Hiller softly pumping both fists.
18:55 - Hiller makes his 35th stop in a crowd with the Kings skating 6 on 5.
18:15 - Quick to the bench.
17:20 - At the other end, Perry just misses on the rush and Ryan just fires wide with a spinning try on the rebound.
17:10 - Hiller with a couple of huge stops from point blank.
16:20 - Koivu a hard one-timer from between the circles, saved.
15:54 - Hiller with a stop on a point shot with Smyth's rear firmly planted into his chest.
15:48 - Last timeout with 4:12 left, the Ducks looking to finish strong.
Rob Scuderi suffering from flu-like symptoms and won't return. Not usually an ailment you discover in the middle of a game ... or I guess that can happen (eww).
14:20 - Hiller is a wall as the Kings are on the doorstep.
14:04 - Hiller scrambles to pounce on a loose puck after a nice save and finally gets that delightful whistle.
13:49 - Hiller stops and holds a Doughty try from the point and takes Smyth's stick in the mask for his services.
12:38 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Whitney, 2 min. holding.
12:10 - Bodie steals the puck at the blue line and is off and running on a breakaway. With the crowd noise rising and just before the defense can catch up, he fires a wrist shot high into Quick's mitt.
9:59 - After a lucky kick off the wall, Marchant fires from the circle and Quick thinks it's behind him, but O'Donnell scoops it out of the crease.
8:40 - Ryan fires from the slot, just wide.
8:24 - Nice stop by No. 1 on a Moller shot from the wing.
Bumps and Bruises segment to the tune of "Bad Medicine." FYI.
5:27 - Hiller with a nice job to kick away a rolling puck to deny Smyth on the doorstep.
0:00 - Here we go.
Getzlaf has a left ankle sprain and will not return. X-rays were negative, however.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Goals by Koivu, Getzlaf and Perry offset one by Kopitar as the Ducks take a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.
18:30 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Perry does this one nearly himself, picking up the puck behind the red line and weaving into the Los Angeles end, where he's one-on-one with former teammate O'Donnell. At just the right moment, he unleashes a perfect wrist shot, just eluding Quick's kicked-out leg pad and nestling the puck inside the far post. Ducks lead is two goals again.
18:06 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - ANZE KOPITAR - The Kings, knocking on the door for much of the power play, finally get one through. From the extended goal line, Smyth feeds a crashing Kopitar, who one-times it through. Third goal in the last two games against Anaheim for Kopitar and it's 3-2 Ducks now.
Jovi-themed Kiss Cam is to the tune of "You Give Love a Bad Name," in case you were wondering.
16:05 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Whitney, 2 min. tripping. Whitney takes down Dustin Brown along the wall.
12:50 - As the penalty comes to an end, Richardson gets out of the box and takes in a long pass to get on a breakaway down the right wing. He fires a wrist shot that Hiller makes a great stop to deny.
Ryan Getzlaf is not out there or on the bench right now. We'll try and keep you posted.
10:41 - LAK Penalty - Brad Richardson, 2 min. tripping. Chasing the puck behind the Ducks net, Brookbank looks to slip and slam into the wall under slight pressure from Richardson, who doesn't look too pleased when the hand goes up. Regardless, Brookbank wants a piece of Richardson after the whistle, and they trade a couple of cross checks, but not much more.
10:28 - Kill. Taco.
8:28 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter, 2 min. boarding. Carter drills Richardson into the wall.
It's Bon Jovi Night and we have a contest during the timeout in which two dudes are asked to compete singing along to "Livin' on a Prayer." The first guy, Graham from Orange, wearing a red hoodie, absolutely smashes it, earning a well-deserved roar from the crowd. The second guy, in glasses, is a little off-kilter and very off-key and gets soundly booed. Winner by applause, Graham from Orange in a landslide.
6:24 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - SAKU KOIVU - The Ducks bounce right back from the goal being waved off as Selanne fires a shot from the low circle off Quick (with Perry again hovering over him). It rebounds out to Koivu, who scoops it up and fires a backhand through. It's 3-1 Ducks.
5:54 - Wisniewski rips a shot from the high slot that bounces off Quick. Perry is right on top of him in the crease to punch it through on the second try. But the goal is waved off for goaltender interference, and somehow there is no penalty for it. Not a good call.
5:21 - Quick flicks out the glove to nab a Perry shot from the slot. If there is a more apt last name in hockey, I want to know it.
4:50 - LAK Penalty - Matt Greene, 2 min. slashing. During the delayed whistle, Whitney rifles a slap shot from the left wing circle that trickles behind Quick, but just inches outside the far post.
3:27 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - And it's a beauty, as Perry beats Drewiske to the puck along the wall behind the net and drops blindly to Getzlaf, who punches it in. It's 2-1 Ducks on the 15th of the year for No. 15.
During the intermission, I saw an old-school 2005-06 Mighty Ducks third jersey with Penner 76 on the back. Not a lot of those out there.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks give one up to Moller, but get one back from Selanne on the power play and it's 1-1.
20:00 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey and LAK Penalty - Wayne Simmonds, 2 min. each roughing. With 5 seconds left, Dustin Brown drops a broken stick and shoves Selanne to the ice for no reason, but somehow only Beleskey and Simmonds gets penalties in the resulting scrum.
19:35 - Quick is out of position trying to glove a Wisniewski point shot, but managed to dive back to rob Ryan on the rebound attempt. Unbelievable.
18:30 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne finally gets one through after a feverish three seconds in which he's initially robbed by a diving Quick after a Koivu pass across the crease. The loose puck comes out to Perry, who turns and fires a point blank shot that's blocked in front, but it comes to Selanne who flips it just barely inside the far post. A hard-earned goal for the Ducks and it's 1-1.
17:50 - Big kick save by quick on the second straight shot from the high slot by Getzlaf.
17:20 - LAK Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Bit of a mixup during the change and the Ducks get a 5 on 3 for 1:30.
Today's trivia challenge prize includes a DVD of Inglourious Basterds (which frustratingly has labeled "Very Long Wait" on my Netflix queue for the last couple of weeks). The guy is asked which team new Duck Jason Blake scored his first goal as a member of the ... Kings. He guesses St. Louis and he's ... right! Well, at least someone gets to see Inglourious Basterds.
16:50 - LAK Penalty - Matt Greene, 2 min. delay of game. Greene flips it over the glass and knows it right away, heading straight to the box.
14:41 - Ducks go unscathed.
13:25 - Wisniewski tries to drill the puck out of the zone and hits Kopitar right in the side of the arm, leaving him wincing a bit.
12:41 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. slashing. If there is such a thing as a big PK this early in the game, this would be one.
12:31 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - OSCAR MOLLER - Pretty goal for the Kings, as Frolov spins away from Whitney to feed in front to Moller, who has his back to the net, but does a half-spin around Eminger to send it inside the far post. It's 1-0 Kings.
11:39 - Ducks get close on the rush as Getzlaf makes a quick feed from behind the case, but Perry can't quite jam it through. Quick is tough, I hate to say it.
7:55 - Perry feeds a crashing Whitney -- under his stick.
A bit of a shoving match breaks out behind the Kings net and you can actually hear a fan yell, "Fight! Fight!" First time I've heard that at a hockey game. First time I've heard that NOT in an elementary school playground.
There is a mix of Ducks and Kings fans below us battling for loudest chant, so that it sounds like, "Let's go, Dings!"
4:15 - Perry picks up a turned-over puck and sends it low off Quick, with Getzlaf not ready for the rebound.
3:35 - Parros puts a shoulder into buddy O'Donnell and knocks him down after a dump-in.
2:00 - Ducks escape on a Kings rush as the puck goes under Stoll's blade with a wide open net in front of him.
A decent collection of Kings fans sitting underneath the press box tonight. No, that won't be obnoxious at all.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center in the latest edition of Biggest Game of the Year.
7:07 p.m. - Moment of silence for Brendan Burke, 21-year-old son of Brian Burke, who died in a car accident Friday. That's followed by another stunning performance of the anthem by Christina Reyes (this time in Ducks jersey, jeans, no glasses, a bit of magenta dye in her hair.)