Helloooo Kings fans! It’s officially Duck hunting season.
In part 1 of the “Freeway Faceoff” between the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks, it was the Kings who prevailed after beating Jonas Hiller in the shootout. A second period power play goal from Mike Richards had the Kings leading 1-0 almost the entire game until Teemu Selanne, the 41 year-old Ducks veteran, scored to tie the game with less than 4 minutes remaining in regulation (a typical occurrence for the Ducks if you watched their playoff series last season). Jonas Hiller was on his A-game as he faced 29 shots in two periods, while Jonathan Quick only faced 12 from the struggling Ducks’ offense. The Kings dominated most of the game and constantly had control of the puck, so the fact that only one goal got past Hiller after 65 minutes of play, really speaks to the kind of goaltending the Ducks received from him last night.
The game eventually advanced into the shootout, where it took seven rounds to settle the score. By the third round, it was 1-1 with goals from Jarret Stoll (who else?) and the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf. In the 7th round it was Justin Williams who fired a shot past Hiller that went on to be the game winner after Quick shut down Kurtis Foster. I just have to reiterate this one more time, Jonathan Quick is an absolute beast. Call me crazy, but there isn’t a single goaltender in the league that I would rather have in net for the Kings. No, not even Tim Thomas. Even though he is great, let’s be real, he isn’t getting any younger. But moving on…
In my opinion, the Ducks were extreeeemely lucky to get a point out of that game. Unfortunately, it seems to be a trend with the Kings that even when they are dominating the other team in terms of puck management and shots on goal, the other team somehow finds a way to sneak a goal in. Obviously getting the two points is great, but giving up an unnecessary point to a team in the same division is something that shouldn’t continue. Stopping 36 out of 37 shots from guys like Kopitar, Richards, Doughty, Johnson, etc. is not an easy thing to do, which is why Hiller deserves most of the credit for earning his team that extra point.
The new defense pairings seemed to work well together. I’m glad to see that Doughty and Johnson aren’t trying to one up each other anymore. I think we saw a little bit of that in the past seasons, but now they are at a point where they are playing as a team and playing for each other. The Kings head to Anaheim tonight in hopes for a clean sweep in part 2 of the “Freeway Faceoff.“ It will surely be a great battle especially after how close last night’s game was. Maybe we’ll see some fights? It’s too bad Parros is injured and Westgarth is a healthy scratch. I always look forward to watching those two Princeton-educated monsters go at it. So, who is heading down to Anaheim tonight to torture some Ducks fans?? Game time is 7pm on FSW and Primeticket. GO KINGS!!!!
Click here to watch highlights from Kings vs. Ducks 11/16/11
Tags: Anaheim Ducks Anze Kopitar Drew Doughty Freeway Faceoff George Parros Jack Johnson Jarret Stoll Jonas Hiller Jonathan Quick Justin Williams Kevin Westgarth Kurtis Foster Los Angeles Kings Mike Richards Ryan Getzlaf Teemu Selanne Tim Thomas