Anaheim, CA – The Los Angeles Kings peppered Viktor Fasth with 38 shots. He made just enough saves for the Ducks to win it in overtime, 4-3. The Ducks had 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 leads but the Kings fought back to tie it every time. With Ryan Getzlaf out for the second straight game, the Ducks got contributions from seven different players in a clutch division win.
The first period got off with a bang when Kyle Palmieri took the puck to the net and got behind the defense. Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier poke checked him, but the puck then hit off Palmieri’s skate and into the net, 1-0 ANA. Shortly after the goal, the two teams began to trade power plays for the next 12 minutes of play. The first period was full of chances, hits, and plenty of chants between the two fan bases in attendance. Dustin Brown might have had the best chance for the Kings in the opening frame when he had a shorthanded break away, but Fasth made the pad save. Brown was later decked to the ice by Francois Beauchemin as he was caught with his head down.
In the early parts of the second period, the two teams traded power plays, again. However, this time the Kings were able to connect on power play when new Duck Matthew Lombardi was sent off for tripping. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty beat Fasth glove side with a slap shot with a screen in front. Halfway through the period, Brown and Corey Perry collided at the Ducks blue line as they both gave each other a little pestering. Brown would lose his helmet, but nothing would come of it. With less than two minutes left in the period, the Ducks would take advantage of the Kings having the long change. Andrew Cogliano would hit Perry as he went in all alone on Bernier and sniped it low far side for a 2-1 lead. However, the lead would be short lived as the Kings would strike back just over a minute later. Jeff Carter would deflect a centering pass out of mid-air from Mike Richards through Fasth’s five hole to tie it at 2. The Kings really started to get more chances and control of the flow of the game.
Once again, there was a power play early on in a period. Carter would get sent off for high-sticking and the Ducks would capitalize quickly to take the lead right back in the first few minutes of the third. Sheldon Souray would take a wide open point shot and Matt Beleskey got a tip in front. Bernier made the save but Beleskey would be right there to tap home the rebound. The Ducks would really start to sit back and let the Kings do what they wanted in their zone. After some pretty decent chances, the Kings would finally cash in with just under 4 minutes left. Brown put home a rebound from Anze Kopitar driving towards the net. Fasth would hold his ground late in the third to force an overtime.
Kyle Palmieri probably had the best chance of what was probably one of the more boring overtimes I’ve seen in a while. He was all by himself deep in the zone and tried to stuff it home but Bernier didn’t leave the post. The boring overtime set up what turned out to be an electric shootout. Bobby Ryan started the shootout with a goal as he deked Bernier and went to his backhand for the goal. Richards shot first for LA and Fasth kept the paddle down as Richards tried to go five hole. Saku Koivu was up next for the Ducks and he would pot one when he deked Bernier out of his shorts with a simple backhand-forehand move. Carter would answer for the Kings as he would come flying into the zone and roof one with his backhand. Perry would step up next with a chance for dub. What does he do every time? SNIPE. That’s what he did as he flicked a wrist shot off the post and in as the Ducks take it in the shootout.
A standing-room-only crowd got to see a hell of a hockey game tonight. It was definitely a playoff atmosphere. It was a heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat game. There was a lot of talk about how these two teams have never met in the playoffs. Well, hopefully they meet for the first time this year because a seven game series between these two teams would be amazing. Beleskey continues to have a solid season. I thought he was really good tonight and it was his second multi-point game of the season. Perry was also good, as usual. Emerson Etem‘s speed was once again very visible. So was Cogliano. Ryan was playing in the middle tonight with Getzlaf out again. I thought he kind of faded as the night went along. He drove to the net early in the game and got into it with a couple of Kings players, but until he scored in the shootout, I didn’t think he had that much impact on the game. This also was one of Palmieri’s best games of the season. He really displayed his knack for finding the net tonight. The Ducks take a 2-1 lead in the Freeway Face-Off series this season, with just one more matchup coming.
The Ducks play tomorrow night when the Edmonton Oilers and much maligned rookie Justin Schultz make their first appearance in Honda Center this season. That one should be interesting!
Topics: Anaheim Ducks, Andrew Cogliano, Anze Kopitar, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Edmonton Oilers, Emerson Etem, Francois Beauchemin, Freeway Face-Off, Jeff Carter, Jonathan Bernier, Justin Schultz, Kyle Palmieri, Los Angeles Kings, Matt Beleskey, Matthew Lombardi, Mike Richards, NHL, Playoff Push, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, Sheldon Souray, Viktor Fasth