No wonder he finally lost, he was impaled by his own stick. - Harry How
With the Kings on a three game win streak and the Ducks riding a six game streak of their own, something had to give. Unfortunately it was the Ducks who finally struck first, but were unable to hold on in a reversal of their last six games.
First Period Recap: We started off by talking about how this could be the start of the "Freeway Faceoff" (read in over-the-top monster truck announcer voice) really beginning to take off, based on Drew Doughty's bulletin board comments and the Jarret Stoll hit on Cam Fowler. What we actually saw in the first period was ... well, not a whole lot. The Kings had the better of the play, out shooting the Ducks 9-7, but there wasn't much to choose between the two teams in the scoreless, penalty-less period.
Second Period Recap: The second period looked a lot more like the crazy first game of the season series back on Feb. 2. Thirteen seconds into the period Andrew Cogliano parked in the slot and slapped a Ryan Getzlaf feed from the corner past Jonathan Quick, who got a piece of it, but not enough to keep the game scoreless.
A couple of minutes later Sheldon Souray dropped the gloves with Jordan Nolan. I hated this fight. Right after the Ducks take the lead there is no reason for Souray to go looking for trouble and stir up the Kings bench. Predictably, the Kings tied the game up right away. Stop me if you've heard this one before, Stoll got away with a penalty (interfering with Saku Koivu at the blueline) then made a nice pass to Dustin Penner at the side of the goal for the equalizer.
As we've come to expect from the Ducks this season, they answered right back as Koivu scored a power play goal just minutes later. Ironically Dustin Brown was the victim of a Ben Lovejoy dive that gave the Ducks the first man advantage of the game. At least three Ducks had chances with Quick swimming and Koivu scored into an empty net as Rob Scuderi put the puck right onto his tape on a failed clearance attempt.
The Ducks had a number of quality chances to extend their lead that were either stopped by Quick or battled out of the crease by the Kings D. Those missed opportunities came back to haunt the Ducks as momentum shifted for good when Kings' Brown tied the game at two on a perfect, bar down shot with just over two minutes remaining in the period. The weird thing about the goal was that it came off the bar, landed in the crease and rolled back across the goal line.
Third Period Recap: In the third, the Kings became the team we were so painfully forced to watch all spring. The Ducks couldn't get anything going on their early power play, and after that the Kings completely took the game over.
Slava Voynov scored the goal that would eventually become the game winner about five minutes in. Anze Kopitar gained the zone easily, skated behind the net, fed Voynov for the one-timer which snuck between the arm and the body of Viktor Fasth and crossed the goal line by about half an inch.
Rookie Jake Muzzin extended the lead on the power play by getting Koivu to vacate the shooting lane with a fake pass and then ripping a really nice wrist shot over the shoulder of Fasth.
From there, the Kings locked it down with puck possession, not letting the Ducks get anything toward Quick. When the Ducks were able to grab it, they were sternly turned away at the blueline. Disgustingly perfect play from the Kings, it was the 2012 playoffs all over again.
With just over two and a half minutes left, Brown got in behind the Ducks D for a breakaway, but was taken down by Rev. Lovejoy and awarded a penalty shot. He made about six different moves (The Hextuple Deke?) and beat Fasth to the forehand side, but hit the side of the net. No goal.
The Ducks only had five shots in the period, but then again so did the Kings, and they scored on two of them, including an empty netter from Jeff Carter to seal the deal with less than a minute left.
The Good: The Ducks survived the first period without giving up a goal and actually drew first blood for the first time in seven games.
The Bad: That apparently isn't in Bruce Boudreau's game plan this year. They paid for their missed opportunities to extend the lead in the second with a lackluster third. Speaking of the third period....
The Ugly: A combination of fatigue from playing the second of back to backs, penalties finally catching up to them and a dominant Kings team with a wild crowd behind them never gave the Ducks a chance in the final frame.
Three Iceholes of the Game:
3rd Icehole: Teemu Selanne - It pains me to say it, seriously I don't know how I actually typed those words, but Teemu was invisible tonight. He was on the ice for the Koivu goal, but wasn't really involved. He had two shots and was minus-1 in 15:41 of ice time. The most memorable moment of Teemu's game was when he narrowly avoided being demolished by an open ice hit from Muzzin (I think) in the second period. The top line (with Cogs on left wing) and two thirds of the fourth line (Patrick Maroon and Kyle Palmieri) were the offensive catalysts for the Ducks this game.
2nd Icehole: Brad Staubitz - Just because I hate his useless corpse taking up a roster spot. He didn't do anything as stupid as in any of his other games, but if he's going to be in there he's got to at least try to have a go at Stoll for the Fowler hit.
1st Icehole: Sheldon Souray - Mostly for the time he was off the ice. He's done a lot of good things for the team this season, paired with Francois Beauchemin (who was fantastic, again despite a rare minus-2) and he should try to stay on the ice. As mentioned above, his fight was ill advised and his slashing penalty led to Muzzin's insurance goal. He also took a puck to the face in the third period, so I guess this is just adding insult to injury, literally.
Next Game: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 7:00 pm vs Nashville back at The Pond