This is how it was supposed to be in the first place, the Ducks said after posting the third consecutive "road" victory in the first freeway series of hockey.
Corey Perry gave the Ducks an early lead, Teemu Selanne scored the goal that put the Ducks ahead for good and the defense didn't allow the Kings a late dramatic rally.
Anaheim's mission now after defeating the Kings, 3-2, and narrowing the Kings' lead in the series to two games to one Thursday at Staples Center, is to ensure their winning formula has staying power.
"Biggest game of our season, and we did the right things," Perry said after breaking through for his first goal of the series on an early first-period power play. "It's huge if we can get back to even here [Saturday] and go back home, best of three.
"If we continue to do this, we're going to be successful."
Selanne and defenseman Ben Lovejoy also scored for the Ducks, who watched surprise starting goaltender Frederik Andersen suffer a lower-body injury midway through the third period.
Relief goalie Jonas Hiller gave up a goal with 31 seconds remaining in the third period, but gained the win with seven other saves in the final 9:58 as the Ducks ran out the final ticks uneventfully this time. Hiller lost Game 1 by giving up a goal with seven seconds remaining, and again in overtime.
Andersen's status is day to day, Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said afterward.
The night started with Boudreau engaging in some gamesmanship after he had Games 1 and 2 starter Hiller leave the ice first during the morning skate at Staples — usually an indication of which goalie is starting. Members of the Kings' coaching staff were watching.
Instead of using Hiller, who's 0-5-2 at Staples, Boudreau inserted the rookie Andersen, who battled a fever and cold after getting pulled in favor of Hiller in the Ducks' series-clinching Game 6 win in Dallas on April 27 but was 2-0 at Staples.
Andersen stopped 22 of 23 shots — the exception being Jeff Carter's second-period power-play goal — before sprawling on the ice after a stick save on Kings defenseman Slava Voynov hit off the post.
That preserved a lead given by the retiring Selanne, who scored his second goal of the series late in a power play with 4:50 remaining in the second period. It was the first time in the playoffs the Kings have surrendered two power-play goals in a game.
After a hooking call on Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, Voynov and Anze Kopitar collided amid a neutral-zone scramble.
"I lifted Voynov's stick, got a two-on-one, and I've been on enough of those with Teemu in practice that I knew he was going to be back door, I just had to put it there and he'll knock it out of the air," Ducks center Nick Bonino said.
"This series could be 3-0 or 2-1 either way. We do what we did tonight, get to Quick even more, and we should win."
Lovejoy, burned on a game-opening goal in Game 2, extended the lead by stealing the puck from Doughty, re-collecting the puck off a pass and blasting a shot past Quick high to the glove side.
"We made some turnovers that cost us," Carter said. "So we have to clean that up."
Desperate to score the game's first goal, the Ducks got it 4:06 into the game after an interference penalty on Trevor Lewis.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf moved the puck to forward Patrick Maroon. Standing to the side of Quick, Maroon shifted a pass to Perry, Anaheim's regular-season goals leader, and he whipped the shot to Quick's left.
"To get that first goal … that's what we needed, that momentum, and to carry it forward," Perry said. "We knew what we had to do."
Twitter: @latimespugmireCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times