LA Kings: Three takeaways from last-minute magic win over Ducks

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The LA Kings survived a slow 50 minutes of play to steal a victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Here were three takeaways from the contest.

Wow. That was a fun final 10 minutes for the LA Kings. Two huge goals from Lias Andersson and Anze Kopitar stunned the Ducks, who generally controlled the game all evening. Jonathan Quick was between the pipes for Los Angeles and stopped 33 of 34 shots on goal (SOG). He came up big when the Kings needed him most, and he was the reason they were able to claw back into this one.

“I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to see he was the reason we were still in the game,” McLellan said following the Kings 2-1 win. “He was our savior for two periods and he was the motivator in the third.”

Here were the three primary takeaways from the victory.

1. Quick stood on his head

Jonathan Quick played a great game. He made some big-time saves in all three periods and survived a barrage of 19 SOG for the Ducks during the second period. Two sequences that stood out to me:

  1. In the first period, with a lot of traffic in front of Quick, Max Comtois had two point-blank chances that the Kings netminder stopped with his left leg pad and his body on consecutive shots.
  2. With the Kings on the penalty kill and approximately 10:30 remaining in the middle frame, the Ducks peppered Quick with no opportunities for the latter to breathe. And yet, the 35-year-old kept the Ducks off the board.

2. Another slow start

The Ducks came into this game allowing 30.9 shots per game, 11th worst in the NHL. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of these two teams playing each other in four consecutive games, but the Kings could generate nothing offensively all night. After jumping out to a 6-0 SOG lead, the Kings were outshot 29-9 through the first two periods.

A problem all year long, Todd McLellan‘s group often struggled to make the first and second passes on the breakouts. The Ducks forecheck wreaked havoc on the Kings, leaving them with just six SOG in the second period. It wasn’t until the Lias Andersson goal that the team played with a renewed confidence.

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“He’s getting his chance to play. He’s been patient all year,” McLellan said of Andersson. “Lias, right now, he’s played two really good games, and he’s trying to prove that he belongs here. Good for him.”

3. Kopitar moves within three points of 1,000

Anze Kopitar scored with 55.1 seconds left in regulation to give the Kings a 2-1 lead, which would shortly thereafter prove to be the final score. The LA Kings captain has moved within three points of 1,000 career points with a goal that looked eerily similar to his game-winner in Game 7 against the Sharks in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jim Fox noted it on the broadcast as well. See for yourself.

The Kings and Ducks will wrap up their four-game series on Saturday, with puck drop set for 7 pm PT.

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