Kings keep Ducks stumbling in the dark in 5-3 win
And then, the Kings-Ducks rivalry descended into darkness …
If seven rounds of a shootout weren’t enough of a jump start to this season series, there was an odd turn one night later when the Kings scored once on the power play and added two shorthanded goals in their 5-3 victory over the Ducks:
The night (some) of the lights went out in Anaheim.
There was a 17-minute delay to the start of the third period when some of the lights did not go back on at Honda Center on Thursday night. Mood lighting might be fine for listening to music but not for, say, Ducks goalie Dan Ellis facing a blast from the blue line.
Then again, the Ducks were struggling in good lighting.
“It’s kind of painful. You’re sitting in here long enough and you’re ready to go back out and get into the flow of the game,” said Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi. “So when you have to sit for an extra 10, 15 minutes, it wears on you.”
They resumed playing after the lengthy delay, having done some stretching on the ice, and the stoppage may have been responsible for the best period of hockey between the teams. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was back for a second consecutive night after his heavy lifting in Wednesday’s shootout victory.
The Kings had led 2-1 after two periods on an even-strength goal by Mike Richards and a short-handed goal by Simon Gagne. They built a 3-1 lead early in the third period on Slava Voynov’s power-play goal at 2:45. It was his third goal in seven games with the Kings this season.
But the Ducks staged a determined comeback to tie it, pulling even on a goal by Corey Perry, his seventh of the season, which held up after a review, and one by Andrew Cogliano at 13:35. Cogliano scored twice against the Kings, in the third multi-goal game of his career.
“They certainly made a great effort in the last 10 minutes there,” said Scuderi. “But I think cooler heads prevailed and we got our selves back in the game and pulled it off.”
The victory put the Kings in first place in the Pacific Division and dropped the Ducks deeper into last.
The game-winner came from Kings center Anze Kopitar with 3:01 remaining in the game on his determined effort. It was his ninth of the season.
“It was kind of a broken three-on-two,” Kopitar said. “I kind of wanted to shoot it and then I held on to it a little more. And I came around and me and Justin [Williams] were just chipping away. Eventually we got it in.”
The Kings, who have won three straight, last scored two shorthanded goals in a game on Nov. 13, 2005. Gagne’s shorthanded goal came at 7:28 of the second period. Richards added the other with 1:38 in the game.
“I played against him a lot when he was in Philly,” Scuderi said if Richards. “Certainly I think the world of him as a player. You just absolutely hated to see him play against you, a breakaway or a two-on-one chance. You knew it was going to be a goal.”
The floundering Ducks managed to get one point in the two games against the Kings. They’ve won once in November, and next up is Detroit on Sunday.
“We have to start finding ways to get two points,” Cogliano said. “There’s no excuses. The more you start losing games, and giving up points, it’s tough to get them back.”
Recently acquired left wing Niklas Hagman made his Ducks debut, playing on a line with rookie Devante Smith-Pelly and Brandon McMillan.
The Ducks first had thought Hagman, was claimed on reentry waivers from Calgary on Monday, would have to return to Canada to secure his work visa. But he did not have to and the Ducks made a game-time decision to play him.
For the Ducks, the scratches were Ben Maxwell, Nate Guenin and enforcer JF Jacques, who made his debut with Anaheim in Wednesday’s game against the Kings.
The Kings made one minor tweak to their lineup, using Brad Richardson in place of Trent Hunter on the Jarret Stoll line.
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