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Gameday Recap: Conquering the Kings

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The Ducks had a three goal third period to over come a late two goal deficit and pull out a shootout victory over a division rival.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score:  Ducks 6,  Kings 5 (SO)

First Period:

The first good chance of the period came for the Kings less than one minute in when Anze Kopitar came down the right wing boards and dropped the puck off for Justin Williams who hammered a onetime high to the stick side. It led to a short flurry where the Kings got a couple shots towards Frederik Andersen, but It ended when Andersen held onto a bid by Alec Martinez. Made for an exciting first minute.  Luckily, the Ducks had a quick response when Etem put a sharp angle shot off Quick's pad. The Ducks worked the puck back down low, but Ryan Getzlaf swung around and coughed the puck up to a slot full of Kings.

After some early offense, the game settled into a trading of offsides and icing penalties. The Andrew Cogliano - William Karlson- Rickard Rakell line got the Ducks a good sustained shift at about 6:00. Rakell has looked better on the wing this season. Sidenote: Josh Manson can shoot...for serious. The Ducks upped the pressure after a bad start and kept the KIngs from taking any shots on net for about eight minutes.

Unfortunately, the Ducks decided things were going too well.  Silfverberg got outnumbered behind the net and the puck rolled up the left wing boards to Williams. Williams found Gaborik outside the zone, and Gaborik put it on Kopitar's tape. Anze used a burst of speed to pull away for a breakaway and Vatanen watched him go right up the middle... then he hooked him. On the ensuing penalty shot, Kopitar made a great forehand to backhand move and slipped the puck between the pads. 1-0 Kings.

The top line brought more pressure in response and were rewarded with a PP opportunity, when Matt Greene held Devante Smith-Pelley near the net. The power play was...a little power less, a lot of perimeter puck work, not a lot of pucks heading towards the net.

The hitting in the period was consistent and hard. Neither team really backed down. With a little less than five minutes to go, Jake Muzzin decided to put the shoulder into Cogs before he ever touched the puck. No penalty, potentially a good thing with no Perry in the lineup. A minute and a half later Muzzin was called for a penalty anyway when he tripped Emerson Etem who was protecting the puck in the high slot.  The best chances came with thirty seconds left in the penalty when Devo gathered a puck in front of Quick, turned and tried to squeeze just inside the post, but he was denied by a lightning fast skate save by the LA goalie. Devo retried the rebound and then fed Beleskey on the left wing who drove it right into Quick's pads.

The Kings seized momentum with a successful kill and pushed the puck up ice. After a Tim Jackman turnover, a lost battle by Nate Thompson and some puck watching by the Ducks, Jeff Carter fed an uncovered Muzzin, which should have been impossible when you realize that there were four Ducks playing defense and three Kings waiting for the puck. Muzzin sailed his shot high over the short side, rimming the puck to a now uncovered Doughty, because the Ducks like watching the puck. Doughty leaned into the puck and it went right under the bar on the glove side. Gaborik was allowed to stand in front of Andersen, and no one laid a finger on him. D-zone breakdowns don't come much more chaotic than that.

Rest of the first period ended without incident, except the Kings were up by two.

Second Period:

It started with some sustained offensive zone time by the Kings. Two minutes in and Manson got a delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. The first good chance of hte PP belonged to Anaheim as Vatanen skated the full sheet and dropped the puck off to Jakob Silfverberg who shot the puck...wait for it...wide.  Silf won the puck back and got it to Cogs streaking off the bench, but his backhand attempt was from a sharp angle. Cog's good luck continued as he found himself with a 2-on-1 with Devo. Cogs...wait for it...held the puck too long until he had a poor shooting angle and then shot it high... To be fair, Doughty was in the passing lane and the puck rolled on Cogs; I just couldn't help myself :)

After the penalty, the top line directed a couple of deflections towards the LA net that never really got through. A puck worked its way to a wide open Trevor Lewis who was allowed to come down the right wing boards and fling a snap shot at Andersen from inside the dot. Freddy made a big save to keep the game at 2-0.

Karlsson orchestrated the next chance for the Ducks. Rakell sprung him for a 2-on-1 with Cogliano, the rebound was knocked to the corner where Rakell won a battle with the help of Cogliano. Cogs found Fowler at the top of the right wing circle. Cam put a beautiful shot off the post and in and we had a hockey game.  2-1 Kings

On the next shift Matt Beleskey laid a big hit on Doughty. I just wanted to type that.

The Etem-Getzlaf-Devo line continued to generate chances and direct pucks towards the net, but after they went off for a change Lewis took a shot from the point, and Andersen just whiffed. It was a soft goal. I don't even want to remember it. But Jason LaBarbera will, because it got him in the game.  3-1 Kings.

The Ducks spent a shift in the offensive zone, but a bad change led to a Mike Richards breakaway.

The Kings would have use their transitional play to create a good chance against LaBarbera who slammed the door on Williams. HUGE SAVE! Why? Because 15 seconds later Hampus Lindholm caught Ryan Kesler at center ice. Kesler laid it off to Silf at the dot and he...didn't miss! He tucked high over the glove and the Ducks were within one again. Kesler now has a four game point streak. He likes Southern California.  3-2 Kings.

Patrick Maroon earned a shift on the top line with Getz and Etem. He turned an open net shot off of a BEAUTIFUL backhand saucer pass from Getzlaf right across the crease into a lovely clanging sound. After some more work along the boards, Getzlaf forgot that Perry wansn't on the ice with him, as he dished a beautiful pass to Etem that was clearly meant for a right handed shooter in the slot.

The top line had a good shift in the offensive zone with about four minutes left. Getzlaf received the puck along the half boards and made a move for the middle. Kopitar made a really pretty poke check to take the puck away.  It was a Selke level play.

Second period ended with a good shift from the top line and the Cogs-Karlsson-Rakell line. Honestly, Getzlaf can dominate the puck when he wants to and that shot is so damn dangerous.

Third Period:

The period started with a good chance for Etem from the high slot. He put the puck off the outside of the net, but it fooled the goal judge. Kid had seven shots on goal through two periods. That's pretty impressive.

Kesler tied the game on a great set up by Silf.  Doughty tried to put the puck off the glass, but it was stopped at the point by Vatanen whose heavy shot was kicked into the slot by Quick. Bels picked up the rebound and dropped it to Silf who, instead of turning around to fling it on net, left right in the middle to a flying Kesler who was ignored by LA and crushed it past Quick.  3-3 Tie.

But the Kings didn't lay down. Richards found Dwight King all alone on the door step and LaBackup made a brilliant pad save.

The Ducks early season high SV% came back to haunt them. Doughty Sprang Gaborik up the Left side and Gaborik scored from a sharp angle that should have been stopped by LaBarbera...but it wasn't. Two shifts later. Allen tripped Brown, no Brown didn't dive (weird, right?), and the Ducks ended up shorthanded and down by one with 12 minutes to go.

The best chance for the Kings came late in the penalty where Brayden McNab's point shot navigated some traffic only to get stopped by LaBarbera. We had more shots on goal on that penalty than the Kings.

Of course, It didn't last long. The Kings ran a brief cycle in the offensive zone and worked the puck to Martinez a the point. LaBackup kicked a huge rebound away from traffic, but to a very eager Justin Williams. Karlsson was there, but not there and Williams restored the Kings a 2 goal lead. 5-3 Kings

Silf's good night was apparently too good to be true. He took a slash on the hands on a routine zone entry and was clearly hurt as he headed back to the bench. Good news, he plays hockey so he came back for a shift.

Kesler continued his great night by carrying the puck all the way from center ice. His pass attempt was blocked and it got Quick down with traffic in his crease. Kesler carried that puck behind the net for a wrap around that beat Quick. Kesler had his best game in a Ducks sweater tonight. 5-4 Kings

The top line finally found the score sheet as a reward for all their hard work.  It was a full line effort. Getzlaf retrieved a dump from Manson. Kopitar won the puck, but was pressured by Etem and was forced to fling the puck up the boards. Vatanen picked it off the boards and smoked a pass that missed DSP. Devo recovered the puck along the half boards on the left wing side, turned and let loose a hard shot that was deflected by Getzlaf who had circled back to the front of the net. TIE GAME with less than 2 minutes to play.

Getzlaf had a great chance to end it with one minute left. Etem recovered a LaBarbera rebound and carried all the way to the blue line and left the puck with Devo.  Etem drove the net, taking the defender and giving Smith-Pelley some space. Devo let Vatanen drive, and instead hit Getzlaf who was all alone in prime territory. Quick gave him the high glove and Getzlaf went too high. Sadness, but happy for overtime.

Overtime

Silfverberg got the first chance of OT, as he brought the puck into the zone and took a shot from the top of the circle that deflected off Quick and out of play.  The second chance went to Dustin Brown, who broke Stoner's ankles in order to move into prime shooting territory, only to have stick snap as Fowler reached to deflect the shot.

Etem made good use of his speed to get the Ducks into the zone and dropped a pass to Getzlaf who carried to the slot and couldn't get the puck to Quick. The scrum led to the KIngs going the other way and Getzlaf bumped Manson out of the play. That led to a 3-on-2, but Getzlaf hussled on the backcheck to keep the Kings from turning it into a quality chance.

Overtime is for losers though, so we had to have a shootout.

Shootout

Marian Gaborik: Smooth skate down the right side brings it forehand between the slots and Gaborik did what Gabby does. Goal

Jakob Silfverberg: He went high glove. It's kind of what he does in the shootout. Goal

Jeff Carter: No tricks here, just speed down the middle. LaBackup sniffs out the high glove shot and stones Jeff.

Ryan Kesler: Comes down his off wing and whips it low on the blocker side. Goal

Anze Kopitar: LaBackup brings the giant poke check to deny Kopitar and get the Ducks a win.

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The Good: Ducks had a comeback win against the Kings. That's the third greatest good that could ever good. It was also the first time the Ducks collected 2 points after three consecutive overtime losses, and come on... look at that chart at the top of the post.

The Bad: Five goals is never a good thing. Getting the two points is great; giving up five goals to get those two points is going to lead to someone getting yelled at.

The Ugly: The five goals were bad, and probably due to some poor defensive play. However, Andersen and LaBarbera both gave up soft goals that made this climb more difficult than it had to be.

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3rd MVD: The Top Line was effective tonight. Etem, Getzlaf, and Smith-Pelley combined for 16 shots on goal. That was almost twice as much as any other line. All that work finally paid off with the game tying goal in the final minutes of the game.

2nd MVD: Jakob Silfverberg had himself a night. Scored his first goal of the season, picked up an assist and scored int the shootout to boot. He also played over 20 minutes.

1st MVD: Ryan Kesler really spurred the comeback. He assisted on Silf's second period goal and scored twice in the third period.  Kesler had his best game of the year, and he's a big reason why the Ducks walked away with the W tonight.

Next game: Saturday at Los Angeles 1 P.M.