Game 42: Kings Win 2-1, improve to 24-14-4
LOS ANGELES -It wasn’t as high-scoring as their previous three meetings but the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Duckshad themselves a wild game nonetheless with the silver-and-black coming out on top winning 2-1 and in the process, ending the season series with the home team winning each time.
Just over halfway through the opening period, Drew Doughty continued his recent hot streak as he blasted a point shot to open the scoring, his fourth goal in his last five games. The Kings entered the first intermission with the one-goal lead and dominated the frame, outshooting the Ducks 6-1.
In the second, however, the tables turned. Anaheim wasted little time evening things up as just 3:07 into the period, Ryan Getzlaf scored his 14th. On the play, the Ducks captain, while shorthanded, found himself on a partial breakaway and was challenged by Jonathan Quick who came racing out of the net in an effort to make a dramatic puck stop. Unfortunately for Quick, he missed the opportunity as Getzlaf moved around the netminder and cashed in. The goal was also the first shorthanded goal the Kings allowed this season. But if that was the worst to happen to Los Angeles on this night (which it was), then it was an overall successful outing.
After the Ducks tied, they were pressing hard. They took over the momentum but the Kings kept them at bay thanks in large part to Jonathan Quick who made a number of great saves to keep the game knotted up.
Late in the second, Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin took a Delay of Game penalty but that got very few fans excited as, on their previous four power play attempts, the Kings failed to register a single shot. On their fifth try, they did register a shot and luckily for them, it was a goal as Mike Richards blasted a shot in close taking full advantage of a Dustin Brown screen in front to regain the Los Angeles lead with just 58 seconds to go in the period. The Ducks outshot the Kings 8-3 in the middle frame but it mattered little on the scoreboard.
If the first 40 minutes weren’t enough, the third period was a bit more exciting. Anaheim outshot Los Angeles 11-9 but just couldn’t solve Quick who looked to be back in playoff form making timely saves seemingly at will. With that said, I’d be remiss without giving kudos to the Los Angeles defense who were crucial in keeping their team in the lead, particular Rob Scuderi who made a few key plays to leave the Ducks scratching their heads.
While Drew Doughty had the most productive night scoring and adding an assist, Trevor Lewis was a workhorse out there working his tail off at both ends of the ice. He may not have found his name on the scoresheet but his efforts certainly helped the Kings pick up the two points.
With San Jose losing to Dallas earlier and St. Louis idle, the Kings have separated themselves from the Sharks jumping three points ahead of their division rivals padding their lead on the West‘s fourth seed. With the win, the Kings also move to within seven points of Anaheim for first in the Pacific but the silver-and-black certainly aren’t holding their breath for a division title as there’s something much more important at stake a little further down the road.
Overall, it was a great night for the Los Angeles Kings. Superb goaltending, great defense and timely hitting, particularly from Dustin Brown who delivered a bone-jarring hit to Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano early in the game. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the Los Angeles captain.
But the Kings close out their season series with the Ducks on a high note as they now prepare for Tuesday night when they travel north to take on the San Jose Sharks.