The Anaheim Ducks began their post-bye week the best way possible, with a 4-2 victory over their rival Los Angeles Kings. It didn’t seem like any rust built up from the week off, as the Ducks grabbed an early lead and never gave it up, even with a late push from the Kings in the final period. John Gibson wasn’t tested all that much, but still came up with a few strong saves as he picked up his 14th win. Jonathan Quick on the other hand made some mistakes he’d like to have back. The Ducks captured two crucial points as they chase a playoff spot.
There’s two things you can count on in every Ducks-Kings game. It’s going to be intense, and it’s going to be physical. These two teams do not like each other, and they demonstrated it right away. Just over 2 minutes in, Jared Boll and Kurtis MacDermid dropped gloves. As soon as the puck dropped for the next faceoff, Kevin Bieksa and Andy Andreoff followed up with their own fight. Many of you might remember the superman-punch Bieksa landed on Andreoff last meeting. If two fights wasn’t enough, immediately proceeding the next faceoff, Nick Ritchie and Kyle Clifford dropped gloves. This all happened with only 4 seconds ticking off the clock.
The Ducks took a penalty shortly after making 4 Ducks in the box within 4 minutes. The Ducks were able to kill the penalty and Ondrej Kase grabbed the lead just 30 seconds later. As he entered the zone along the side boards, he sent a puck on net. Quick was caught sleeping as he left a gap in between the pads and the shot snuck through to make it 1-0 Anaheim.
With 2 minutes remaining, the Ducks get their first power play opportunity. The Kings might have the best penalty kill in the league, but they couldn’t stop Ryan Kesler. After batting a pass out of the air above the right circle, Kesler turned and sniped it top shelf. He then proceeded to egg the fans onto boo louder, in true KesBoss fashion.
The second period started in the Kings favor. The Ducks struggled to get hold of the puck as the Kings got several chances. After a loose puck battle in front, the Kings manage to get it past Gibson. However, after review, the goal is removed because Alex Iafallo knocked the puck in with his hand.
Halfway through the second period, the physicality really turned on starting with Boll throwing a huge hit on Trevor Lewis, who was slow to get up. As Lewis got to his skates, the puck came back to him and Boll trucked him again. The rest of the period was filled with little room to skate and players sending messages with big hits.
The Ducks came out much better in the third period as they got a few great chances to start. Two minutes in, Ritchie is able to steal the puck behind the net from Quick. He found Kase in front who had a wide open net to shoot and score, giving Kase his 2nd goal and first career 3-point night.
The Kings began to push back as Nick Shore cut the lead to 2. Beauchemin tried to cut off a pass from behind the net but failed and Shore gets a quick release off to beat Gibson over the glove.
Anze Kopitar followed that goal up with his own. Getzlaf blocked a shot in front of the net. Unfortunately it bounced right to a waiting Kopitar who wated no time whipping a shot past a recovering Gibson.
With two minutes remaining the Kings pulled Quick for an extra attacker. After a great diving poke-check by Josh Manson, to stop a scoring chance, Corey Perry is able to grab, spin, and shoot a loose puck from deep and hits the empty net. The win brings the Ducks within 2 points of a playoff spot, and only 4 points behind the Kings.
The Ducks will be back in action Monday night as they travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche at 12pm PST.
The city of LA can sleep well tonight knowing Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler scored against their hockey team.— CJ Woodling (@CJWoodling) January 14, 2018