Kings hold off Ducks, 3-2, in a physical matchup

It was as if the Kings and Ducks were trying to make up for three months of missed time in one game.

Bodies bounced off each other. Punches were thrown. A controversial no-goal call was upheld in a third period that seemingly had more "oohs" and "aahs" in Honda Center than any game this season.

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez sat at his locker stall after the Kings withstood a late Ducks rally for a 3-2 victory Sunday and reminded himself that it was only the first game of a series that will play out in the next few weeks.

"We know that these are going to be battles," Martinez said. "We obviously have a history between playing each other in the playoffs and just being down the road from each other. To get a good win in their building is good."

The Kings got goals from Vincent Lecavalier, Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar in the second period.

It followed their third-period collapse Saturday against Ottawa, but goalie Jonathan Quick made 15 of his 31 saves in the final 20 minutes.

"We talked about it after the second: learn from yesterday," Martinez said. "We did that. We faced some adversity there … that's what it's going to take. We've been around, this core group, for a while. We know that things like what happened [Saturday] can't happen."

The Ducks thought they tied it when Andrew Cogliano had the puck go in off his skate midway through the third period. It was ruled a no-goal and upheld upon review.

"It was really close," Cogliano said. "If the ref didn't call it a no-goal on the ice, it could have went the other way."

Most of the third period went Anaheim's way. As so often happened last season, its rally began when franchise scoring leader Teemu Selanne was shown on the video board. David Perron, in his Ducks debut, cut the deficit to 3-2 on a long wrist shot.

It was Perron's first goal since Dec. 1, with Pittsburgh, as he tries to revive his career with his fourth team.

"That's why I'm here," Perron said. "I want to get things going again. I know I'm a good player in this league and I want to prove that every night. What you saw a little bit in the third, that's the way I like to play."

The Kings imposed their heavy game in the second, capped by Kopitar's masterful deflection of Brayden McNabb's shot. Lecavalier fooled Gibson with a quick shot on the power play for his second goal in as many games. He also won a key defensive faceoff late.

"Ever since he came in, I think he's done a lot for us," Kopitar said. "Maybe it doesn't show in the score sheet but those little plays that he makes, [he] takes a lot of the faceoffs, especially in our zone, which turn out to be very, very big plays."

Ducks wing Rickard Rakell wowed the crowd with a one-handed deflection goal with his back to the net in the first period for his career-high-tying ninth goal.

The Ducks put defenseman Clayton Stoner on injured reserve because of a hip injury and recalled goalie Anton Khudobin since Frederik Andersen was doubtful because of an upper-body injury, but Coach Bruce Boudreau said Andersen is "getting better quickly."

sports@latimes.com

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 18, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Kings come out on top in a physical matchup - Punches and bodies fly as L.A. hangs on after taking an early lead against Ducks." — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
58°