With the worst team in sports coming to the Pond, there would be no love lost. However there was one man from LA to celebrate, and that was Bob Miller. He was an incredible broadcaster, as well as an incredible man. Thank, you Bob. For the game itself, the Ducks needed one point to claim the Pacific. It wouldn't come easy as a penalty filled game with injury scares took the stage.
An errant pass from LA to the bald man named Ryan Getzlaf started off the game. He would set up Major Eaves who zipped the puck over Quick’s glove and into the net. Just like that, Ducks-1, Kings-0. In 20 games with Anaheim, Eaves has 14 points (11g/3a). What an addition, thank you Bob (Murray).
It wouldn't take long for the skating cone (Bieksa) to become a factor in this one. Marian Gaborik threw the puck from a corner that found Kevin’s stick and redirected past Bernier and off the post. Soon after that frightful moment, Sami Vatanen took a puck into the slot and deked around Martinez only to find his backhander halted by Johnny.
Trevor Lewis went head hunting as he dangerously went shoulder to helmet on Montour. A penalty would be assessed, and Getz had some choice words with Lewis. The Anaheim power play had some good looks, but nothing cashed in. Eaves took a weak tripping penalty and not too long after Jeff Carter boarded Montour. The poor guy was getting roughed up. Another penalty would be handed to Theodore for holding, continuing the trend. The refs were probably trying to make sure this game didn’t get out of hand. Looking at you, Calgary.
On the power play, Nic Dowd drew a face-off win with the nob of his stick, which led to Drew Doughty blasting by a slapper past the keeper. Tie game, 1-1. Carlyle challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal remained. Anaheim responded well with a strong forecheck and what seemed to be a goal. The Vatman tossed the puck through Quick and to the other side of the crease, where Cogliano’s attempt was thwarted by a sprawling Quick. It looked like it might have been a goal as the puck may have passed the line. As the first round of the playoffs went by, the officials took their sweet time reviewing the play.
After all that, the call on the ice stood: no goal. The last few minutes saw some decent rushes from each club, but the period would end tied up at one. SOG: ANA-10 LA-5.
Two minutes in and another penalty was dished out. Anaheim was called for a delay of game but the Kings power play registered no SOG. Deeper into the second, Ducks nation held its breath as Patrick Eaves had an awkward collision with McNabb. The Kings’ defenseman got his stick right up into Eaves’ neck, and the bearded man went off to the locker room. He would not return.
Only a few minutes after that, the Ducks pushed hard for a second goal. LA was called for too many men, and the home team took advantage. Rakell was set up nicely by Ryan Kesler but was sadly denied. On the same play, Vatanen whistled the biscuit wide of the cage but Rak City got the puck to the captain who found Antoine Vermette. Great passing, 2-1 Ducks.
Even more penalties were handed out as Kase interfered Muzzin but soon after, Logan Shaw was slashed. After the penalties closed, Carter found Kopi in front of the net, but the tip went wide. The Kings continued a strong forecheck, and it would pay off. Kings’ defenseman, Kevin Gravel, took a wrist shot from the blue line and found Kyle Clifford all alone for the deflection. Horrible defense. You cannot just leave a player all by themselves in front of your net like that. Tie game, 2-2.
Carter added to the penalty minutes, and on the ensuing power play Kesler was hit in what seemed to be his wrist by a flying puck. He left the game as well, causing Ducks fans everywhere to scream within. The middle frame ended with Anaheim leading in SOG, 18-12.
Rak city looked to strike early as he embarrassed a d-man to get to the net. But once again it would be Jonathan Quick saying no. The other Jonathan in the building made his own highlights as well as he denied Nick Shore who was on the doorstep not once, but twice. LA would get a shot off from the point, sending the puck into traffic that would make the I-5 jealous. The shot tipped off Jarome Iginla, then Brown, and slipped through Bernier. 3-2, Kings. By the way, that was Iginla’s 1300th career point, congrats to him.
Also, Kesler did return to the game, thank goodness.
Vancouver seemed to be the Ducks hope for claiming the division, but McDavid and the Oilers weren't letting that one slip. The short lived worry would end as Montour passed a puck from the corner and found Nate Thompson. He would get just enough on it, and the puck slid across the goal line. Tie game, 3-3.
Seconds later the Kings almost retook the lead as Doud kissed the crossbar. LA continued to forecheck hard and created several opportunities, but Bernier stayed calm and collected. Anaheim had their own chances as Kase from his knees found Rakell in front, but no lamp was lit. A few more rushes by each team were met with timely saves by each tendy, sending this one to OT.
With the point, the Anaheim Ducks claimed their fifth Pacific division title in a row.
It wouldn’t be any fun to walk into the playoffs on a loss, and to the Kings no less. A face-off to the right of Bernier sent the puck down the rink and had Rakell on a race. He would beat his man, chipping the puck to Shea Theodore who went bar down, sending LA to the golf course officially.
Anaheim ends the season on a 14 game point streak, going 11-0-3.
Carlyle said that Eaves was “fine” so that is good to hear. With Fowler gone and Ritchie suspended, they don’t need anyone else missing.