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Ducks Drop 4-2 Preseason Decision Against Kings

Ryan Kesler skates in a Ducks jersey for the first time at Honda Center, but Jeff Carter's hat trick, Martin Jones' 33 saves lead the way for LA.

Jeff Carter drove the LA offense, picking up his first three goals of the preseason.
Jeff Carter drove the LA offense, picking up his first three goals of the preseason.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It's rarely a good omen when Robyn Regehr scores a goal. Combine it with a hat trick from Jeff Carter while the Ducks pinged the post three times and it proved recipe for a Kings victory in the second to last game of the preseason.

On a night where Anaheim dressed a lineup as close to what one might expect during the regular season, inability to finish on six power plays and a solid performance from Martin Jones proved pivotal. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry saw their most extended time of the preseason, playing 23:40 and 22:59 while spending most of the evening with Dany Heatley, although trailing by two in the third period coach Bruce Boudreau moved Patrick Maroon to the top line. The lack of conversion on the power plays will be a sore spot, particularly considering the Ducks had two opportunities with a two-man advantage. Anaheim generated chances, but much of the play was static when set up in the offensive zone with players staying in a box outside the slot and moving the puck around the perimeter trying to open up the penalty killers. It was interesting seeing Ryan Kesler get some advantage time with Getzlaf and Perry in his first home appearance.

Sami Vatanen featured prominently in the offense, scoring the Ducks first goal and leading the team with six shots. Conversely the duo of Cam Fowler and Ben Lovejoy had issues keeping track of Carter, with one of the goals coming off a giveaway in the defensive zone by Fowler. Another bit of note was the exhibition of William Karlsson and Rickard Rakell on the lower lines, as Karlsson formed an intriguing line with Andrew Cogliano and Emerson Etem and had the primary assist on the Ducks second goal by Etem. Rakell was less prominent, filling a checking role with Matt Beleskey and Tim Jackman, but not looking as poised with the puck as Karlsson flashed.

It'll be interesting to see how much Boudreau breaks out the blender during the season, as both Cogliano and Beleskey were given some time on the second line with Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg in the third period. Anaheim now has the next five days off before closing out the preseason at home against San Jose on Saturday.