First Period Recap: It wasn't a playoff game but it sure felt like it. The game started with a new Ryan Getzlaf-less top line of Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Andrew Cogliano. The speed and pesky nature of Cogliano's game could mesh well with the skill of Ryan and Perry. Yet, they wouldn't be the best line of the night. That honor went to the fourth line of Matt Beleskey, David Steckel and Kyle Palmieri.
Nearly three minutes into the first, the fourth line scored for the Ducks. Beleskey beat newly acquired King Robyn Regehr to the puck and passed over to Palmieri. Palmieri gets on the inside of Jordan Nolan and shoots. Jonathan Bernier (starting in place of Jonathan Quick) poked the puck with his stick, directly on to the skate of Palmieri. The puck ricocheted off the skate and into the net. The off-ice officials briefly reviewed the goal to make sure Palms didn't kick it in. He didn't.
In an odd twist of events, Cam Fowler touches up for icing only to be hit into the boards by Jaret Stoll. Stoll was given a boarding penalty and Cam was fine. Funny, right? The last time Stoll did the same thing, he smashed Cam's face into the boards and wasn't given a penalty or suspension. And our darling Cammy missed a bunch of games with a concussion.
The Ducks went on the power play. Thinking back to Friday night, the first game without Getzlaf, the power play was nothing short of a cluster. Everyone was discombobulated without Getzy manning the point. Thankfully, they were slightly better. Instead of standing around not knowing what to do, they cycled and re-cycled the puck inside the zone. Perry played the point and sent a shot on net. After Bernier made the save, Micheline Man Drew Doughty gets into with Bobby Ryan in front of the net. Doughty had been giving Ryan the business during the play and Bobby decided to try to trip him with his stick. Both boys were given matching roughing minors, ending the Ducks power play.
Emerson Etem is next to draw a penalty after Keaton Ellerby interferred with Etem by hip checking him into the boards near the Kings bench. Etem connected with the boards right where the gate entrance is. The door opened once Etem hit it and he hit the inside part of the bench. He popped right back up and the Ducks went on the power play.
For the advances they made in the first power play, the Ducks regressed to Friday's form in their second. Dustin Browns earns a breakaway after a turnover by Francois Beauchemin. Fowler keeps pace with Brown and combines with Viktor Fasth to make the save. Just for good measure, Beauchemin shows Brown how much he didn't appreciate the breakaway by crunching the Kings captain into the corner boards. The Ducks failed to get set up on the rest of the power play.
Once again, Sheldon Souray shows his inability to move his feet when a player gets inside of him. This time it was Nolan and Souray hooked him down. The closest the Kings got to scoring on the PP was a Jeff Carter shot that clinked off the post.
The final three minutes of the period were completely controlled by Los Angeles. The Kings unleash a flurry of shots on on Fasth who is keeping the Ducks in the game. Mercifully, the period ends with the Ducks still holding the lead 1-0.
Second Period Recap: Shortly after the puck dropped, Kyle Clifford (playing on a line with Carter and Mike Richards, whaa??) high sticks Saku Koivu in the face and the Ducks go back on the power play. Still not finding their rhythm, the best the Ducks could do was jamming at pucks that made their way to Bernier. The Kings were relentless. They pressured the Ducks constantly and used a lot of body contact to separate the Ducks from the puck. The tactic continued to prove effective as Anaheim fails to score again on the man advantage.
Scary moment for Anaheim when elder abuser Brad Richardson nearly scores. Richardson is allowed to get right up to Fasth as he pulls the puck from backhand to forehand and shoots. The puck lay open in the crease, near the goal line when Toni Lydman (figuring back into the lineup in place of Ben Lovejoy) swats the puck away.
The fourth line nearly strikes again as David Steckel bought time for Kyle Palmieri to get into position. Palms snipes the puck from one knee and if it wasn't for Brown barely getting his stick on the puck, it would have gone in.
The Ducks penalty kill was tested again when new guy Matthew Lombardi trips Dwight King. King sells it by flopping to the ice like a fish outta water. It took the Kings 15 seconds to score. Off the face off, Richards nearly scores but Fasth makes the save. The rebound goes to Carter and Beauch blocked his shot with his hand. The puck gets to Doughty at the point and he fires on net. Fasth was screened by Carter when DD took the shot. Fasth looked around Carter and the puck went in on the opposite side. All tied up at one.
Anaheim had slightly more control of the pace in the first half of the period. Cogliano intercepts a pass and gets the puck to Ryan. BR takes the puck on his backhand and flips it to a wide open Perry. Regehr manages to just barely get in front Perry's shot, blocking it with his skate.
Again the fourth line pressured the Kings. From behind the net, Steckel passes the puck through Beleskey's legs and Palmieri who is alone at the circles. Palms attempts another sniper shot and it goes wide.
Another scary moment for Etem as Doughty hits him with his shoulder in the jaw when Etem hadn't touched the puck. No call on Doughty and Etem would be fine. Clifford follows up that nasty hit with a hit on Teemu Selanne in the neutral zone. Lydman didn't appreciate the hit on his fellow countryman and takes the opportunity to smash Clifford into the end boards. While this is happening, Perry and Brown nearly come to blows after running into each other near the blue line. Perry finds a way to keep Brown from getting up and skating away. The linesman separated the two and sent them to their respective benches before anything could escalate.
Fasth was forced to make a miraculous save after Teemu loses the puck in front of the net. On his tummy, Fasth stretches out to hook the puck behind the net, out of harms way.
It's a bunch more back and forth until the Kings again assert their will on the Ducks. Anaheim tried and tried to clear the puck out of their zone but LA kept it in. Finally, the Ducks iced the puck and got a break when Boudreau uses his time out.
With less than 90 seconds to go in the period, Souray rings the puck around the glass and Cogliano gets it. Cogs lasers a pass across the ice to Perry. Perry flies into the Kings zone nearly untouched and whips the puck up and over Bernier's shoulder. The celebration - and lead - was short lived. Just 1:18 later, Richards, from the corner, passes to Carter in front of the net. The puck deflects off Carter's stick and slides through the five-hole. Period ends with the score tied at 2-2.
Third Period Recap: Fasth nearly digs his own grave when he comes out to play the puck and tries to get fancy by reversing the puck away from the on rushing LA player. The thing is, he didn't check to see if anyone in black was behind him. They weren't and somehow Fasth gets back in the crease just in time to make a save.
The period was very back-and-forth, mainly in favor of the Kings until Carter slashes Bryan Allen in Anaheim's end of the ice. The Ducks were slightly better on this power play. Souray's initial shot from the point was blocked, on his own rebound, he sends the puck directly to the front of the net. Bernier thinks he has it in his equipment but the puck is actually laying right in front of his knees. Right as I was thinking, 'why the hell is Beleskey on the first power play unit' Beleskey pulls the puck from in front of Bernier and taps it in the net. A power play goal and the Ducks are up 3-2, taking their third lead of the night.
After Anaheim scored the go-ahead goal, they seemed to relax; the complete opposite of what they should be doing. The Kings capitalized by controlling the pace and pressure of he game. LA unleashed shot after shot on Fasth. In one of the few times they managed to clear the zone, Perry falls down against the end boards with the puck in between his body and board. Regehr, standing over a prone Perry on the ice, continued to chop and slap at the puck, getting more Perry than puck. It took the referee a good 20 seconds before calling the play dead once Perry managed to completely roll his body on top of the puck. It was entirely too dangerous of a play to have been going on that long. Perry's neck and head were vulnerable and there was no way the ref could have seen the puck wedged between Perry and the board.
Following the Beleskey goal, the Ducks went five minutes without registering another shot. As the period went on, Anaheim accomplish nothing except for giving the Kings more scoring chances. Rejected Muppet Jake Muzzin nearly scores when he shoots the puck from the point. Radek Dvorak hit the ice waaay too early to block the shot and Fasth was being bumped into by Brown but somehow he made a blocker save.
Perry has a bad defensive stretch when he turns over the puck to King. King passes to Brown in the neutral zone and he rushes up ice and fires on Fasth uncontested. The rebound sat in front of Fasth until Souray cleared it out. Then Perry loses his stick in the neutral zone and he goes to get it, leaving Anze Kopitar to glove the bouncing puck, skate in and jet a pass across the crease to Brown on the far post. Bobby Ryan is on the far post, too but doesn't react in time to interfere with Brown's easy tap in to tie the game with 3:30 to go.
Fowler nearly gets off the schnide and win the game for the Ducks when he blasts a bomb from the blue line just over top of the Kings' net and it deflects into the crowd.
How the Ducks managed to survive the final 3:30 is beyond me. Los Angeles continued to throw everything at Fasth. King nearly scores when the Ducks allow him to skate right to the front of the net. Stoll is open on the far side, ready to receive King's pass when Beleskey 'accidentally' knocks into Stoll, sending the net off its pegs. Stoll lobbies for a penalty (he probably should have received) but the refs would have none of it.
With Getzy out, Boudreau decided to give the important face-offs to Steckel. There is 12.4 seconds remaining as Steckel wins the face-off and gets the puck to Beauchemin. Beauch passes to Perry in front of the net and Perry drops his stick. He quits on the play in order to pick up the stick and glare at the ref for some phantom penalty call he thought he deserved. Meanwhile, the Kings are rushing up ice but aren't able to get a shot off before the end of regulation.
Overtime Recap: Somehow Perry manages to lose his stick again as the Kings begin to get set up in the Ducks' zone. Regehr gets the puck to Kopitar who stick handles to the front of the net. Fasth makes the save.
The Ducks look like they have a good chance when Luca Sbisa passes the puck back to Ryan. Not quite sure what BR was thinking when he took the puck directly into the spot of the ice with the most Kings players. Needless to say, he lost the puck. He slightly redeems himself when he gloves the puck in the neutral zone and makes a great pass to Koivu. Koivu jets into the zone and skates around to make time for his teammates to join him. Koivu sends the puck to Fowler. Cam snaps the puck on net, leaving a big old rebound in front of Bernier with no Ducks to capitalize.
Both teams traded chances, with the Kings getting the better quality ones, but OT ended as it began, tied.
On to the shoot-out!
- Bobby Ryan - GOOD!
- Mike Richards - MISSED
- Saku Koivu - GOOD!
- Jeff Carter - GOOD!
- Corey Perry - GOOD! DUCKS WIN!
(Anze Kopitar was the Kings third shooter.)
The Good: It is possible to win without Getzlaf. It may not be easy or pretty but they won.
The Bad: Did someone coat Perry's stick in butter? I expect him to fall down a lot but not drop his stick.
The Ugly: The Ducks have to play LA one last time, in Los Angeles, on Saturday. Yikes. GETZ WELL SOON! (I'm punny.)