First Period Recap: To start the game the Ducks iced a line of Patrick Maroon - Nick Bonino - Devante Smith-Pelly along with the defensive tandem of Cam Fowler and Ben Lovejoy and Viktor Fasth in net. This was an interesting start considering the Ducks had Dustin Penner, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to choose from as well. The opening faceoff was lost and it resulted in a decent chance for the Kings. Fasth was steady in net and seemed like he was well prepared and fighting for that No.1 spot. Holland was about a step away from a breakaway but couldn't manage to get away from his man on one of the better chances of the period.
Some great defensive plays were made by new acquisition Mark Fistric on his first shift as a Duck. Unfortunately, it was not long before the first of many, many penalties was called against the Ducks — an interference call on defenseman Matt Clark at 5:38. This was an odd penalty because there had been a collision with Fasth at the side of the net which could have been labeled goaltender interference, but instead Clark got the penalty. The Ducks killed the penalty off with some shaky defense and a few solid clears.
With the penalty kill came the first "television time out." There was a hilarious game between a Ducks fan and a Kings fan during the intermission which was clearly a set up. Each person had to guess who the Ducks or Kings player was on the screen (given, these were some "classic" "throwback" images of both teams). It was impossible to guess the no-name Kings players and the Ducks fan won the game (the Ducks organization has a sense of humor now?). Anyway, the laughs didn't last long as the Ducks went back on the PK after Matt Clark (yes, again) was sent to the box for tripping. The PPG line did work in the offensive zone and the Kings had 0 shots on the PP attempt .
Not more than five minutes later, Cam Fowler was called for a high-sticking double minor. This time the Kings scored (1-0). With the remaining 2 minutes of the penalty time nothing really happened. Some decent defense kept the Kings at bay for a while. Perry drew a holding call on Jarret Stoll and the Ducks got their first chance at the PP — it was bad, and ended without a shot on goal and a giveaway by Dustin Penner. It only got worse from there as DSP took a tripping penalty (a combination of poor stick placement and an Oscar-worthy flop). The "ref you suck" chants were in full force at this point.
The Ducks lasted the period but still had some time on the PK to deal with to start the second.
Second Period Recap: The Ducks started the period off with a kill of the remaining 0:51 of penalty time. The PPG line was sent out to take the draw in the offensive zone. Getzlaf lost the draw but the Kings iced it. On the next play the Ducks won the draw and got a shot on goal (YAY!!!! *sarcasm*). The puck was recovered, but Getzlaf gave it away and an odd man rush developed. Sami Vatanen stepped in and prevented the shot on goal, but because he was trailing the play and reaching, he was called for hooking and a penalty shot was awarded to Kyle Clifford. Fasth was up to the task, however, and stopped the shot (the loudest cheers from Ducks fans came at this time).
At 4:29 DSP took another penalty and the Ducks went on the kill (AGAIN). A few good Kings chances came but the Ducks survived and killed it off (4/5 at this point on the PK). After the kill, a top shelf snipe of a shot got past Fasth and it was 2-0 Kings. There were some great opportunities to lay hits on Carter and Kopitar but none were taken. Nobody was able to stand out (except Fasth) since the Ducks were on the PK so much.
Shots were 21-5 in favor of the Kings, and there was still plenty of time to get back into the game. Finally, the Ducks got a PP chance with the help of Vatanen who drew the call. Vatanen had a great first two periods considering most of his time was spent on the penalty kill. The Ducks failed on their second power play of the game. Shortly after a scrambling defensive effort from the Ducks a Drew Doughty slapshot slipped through Fasth (now 3-0). The Ducks came back with immediate pressure and nearly potted a goal, but Jonathan Quick robbed them clean.
The period ended with a scrum at the Ducka end of the rink. A slashing penalty was dealt to Doughty at the 20:00 mark, allowing the ducks to start the period on the power play.
Third Period Recap: Fasth did not play in the third period and ended his night with 23 saves on 26 shots in two periods of work. American hero, John Gibson, came in to replace Fasth and stopped his first shot against. The power play failed, but right after it ended there was a great scoring chance for the PPG line. The chance at the other side turned into a turnover that ended with a jam/stuff play and a 4-0 Kings lead.
From here on out it only got worse. The Kings scored two more goals (6-0) as the Ducks left Gibson to fend for himself. Brad Staubitz managed to get into a "fight" and earned himself a 10 minute misconduct penalty (his second in as many nights). The Ducks did not put up a fight or even seem to get mad in the end. The compete level was beyond low in the third period, especially from some veteran players. The only players that managed to stand out to me (in a good way) were Laganiere (100% in the faceoff circle), Mark Fistric (solid defense and some physicality as advertised) and Sami Vatanen (a few misplays but overall solid play and some nice pacing on the PP when he had the chance).
The Good: The PK went 5/6 which is a good sign (not that there should ever be that many penalties to kill). Mark Fistric looks like a solid pickup, so stick tap to Bob Murray for that one.
The Bad: The Defense (or lack there of) was horrible. Now, this isn't to say that the defensemen are completely to blame. The forwards were all careless with the puck. The Ducks had nine giveaways in the game and the costly turnovers were a huge problem. Another bad element was the compete level. There was no will to win the game, hardly enough effort from the start and, worst of all, the players didn't seem upset that they were getting stomped. [Ed. Note: Preseason -CK]
The Ugly: Shout out to obnoxious fans getting kicked out of Honda Center. I have never had that many profanities yelled at me before— at least at a home game. It's only the preseason, and some fans were acting like it was a life or death situation on the ice. I will say that I laughed pretty hard at a section of Kings fans who chanted the very Montreal Canadiens "Ole Ole Ole" after the Kings scored. Maybe Honda Center should save the alcohol for the regular season.
Our first "Iceholes of the Game" for the season
3rd Icehole(s): DSP, the PPG re-debut and Staubitz — Smith-Pelly was a minus-2 and had two minor penalties in the game (4 minutes). I didn't see nearly enough physical play from him, which was disappointing considering he was on a line with Maroon and Bonino and even got the start for the Ducks. The PPG re-debut did not live up to the the nostalgia and hype. There were maybe one or two shifts of semi-great play, but overall a lackluster product on the ice. Staubitz was useless as ever and managed to go 2-for-2 on the 10 minute misconducts.
2nd Icehole(s): The whistle-happy refs — It's never too early for a "Ref you suck" chant at Honda Center.
1st Icehole(s): Obnoxious drunken fans — This one goes out to all those escorted out of the building. This is a preseason game which has no affect on the standings during the regular season whatsoever. Cheer when your team scores or makes a great play, but don't make a fool of yourself by dropping the f-bombs — especially when your team is winning because it just doesn't make sense (hint hint nudge nudge).
Next Game: Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. PT, @ Colorado (Pepsi Center)