It doesn’t matter whether it’s outdoors or indoors, the Anaheim Ducks know how to “Beat LA.”
After rolling the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium back on Jan. 25, the Ducks defeated the Kings 2-1 at the Staples Center in a physical, hard-nosed battle between the two rivals.
Tim Jackman kicked off the scoring in the first period with his fourth tally of the year on a pretty play by the Ducks fourth line. After conceding to Tyler Toffoli in the second frame, Ducks forward Patrick Maroon lit the lamp with a little help from a Kings defender as Maroon’s pass to fellow Duck Nick Bonino was deflected off the defender into the back of the net.
The goal would give Anaheim a 2-1 lead and that was all rookie goalie Frederik Andersen would need to hold on in Los Angeles. The win gives the Ducks sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division once again.
With the possibility of the Ducks and Kings meeting in the first round of the NHL playoffs looming, the game’s physicality and emotion was already on postseason level. There were plenty of altercations, after-the-whistle scrums and hostile fans. After Anze Kopitar appeared to tie the game at two in the third period, the goal was waved off after review because of goaltender interference. Fans proceeded to voice, and show, their displeasure by littering the Staples Center ice with debris.
Play resumed after a five-minute delay and Anaheim walked out of Los Angeles with a hard-fought victory.
If Saturday night’s contest was any indication, a playoff series featuring the Ducks and Kings would be an instant classic. The two teams will meet one more time on Apr. 12 before the conclusion of the regular season the following day.
With the win, Anaheim (44-15-7) has won two straight after an embarrassing loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. The Ducks will drive back home to take on the Washington Capitals Tuesday night.
But for now, Ducks fans should enjoy a successful season series over their hated rivals.
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