The night after beating the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-1, the Anaheim Ducks took another step toward solidifying themselves as a legit playoff threat. The crosstown rival Los Angeles Kings made the 40 mile trip to Anaheim, and the Ducks responded by beating the defending Stanley cup champions by a score of 7-4 on Saturday, Feb 2 at Honda Center.
The Ducks started quickly. 2 goals were scored on their first 3 shots, courtesy of Nick Bonino. Bonino, who started the season centering Teemu Selanne, and Kyle Palmieri, had been moved down to center youngsters Devante Smith-Pelly and Emerson Etem, on the fourth line just two games ago. The shakeup seems to be working. Nick scored at 2:30, and again at 5:49 of the first period. Etem assisted on both goals. After the second goal, Kings' Head coach Darryl Sutter had seen enough. He pulled starting goalie Jonathan Quick, and inserted backup goalie Jonathan Bernier. His team seemed to respond, and soon erased the 2-0 deficit. Dustin Brown scored a power play goalt at 9:15, and Jarret Stoll scored just 34 secs later, to tie the game at 2-2. The Ducks would bounce back just a few mins later, when Corey Perry muscled the puck away from Alec Martinez, and fed a pass to Getzlaf who lit the lamp at 13:30. The Ducks lost defenseman Cam Fowler for the balance of the game, when at approx 16:40, he was sandwiched along boards by a combination of Jarret Stoll, Kyle Clifford, and one of the linesman. Fowler looked woozy, and very unsteady as he was helped of the ice. this left Anaheim with only five defensemen. Ducks led 3-2 at the end of the first period. Shots on goal were even at 11 apiece.
The seesaw battle continued in the second period. when Dustin Brown scored his second power play goal of the game to tie the game at 3-3 just 1:15 into the second stanza. The teams would then alternate goals for the rest of the period. Sheldon Souray gave the lead back to the Ducks, when he pounded home a slapshot, for a power play goal at 9:35; Bernier had tried to squeeze the shot under his right armpit, but it had too much velocity. It was a classic "7 hole goal". Justin Williams then scored his first goal of the season when he came from behind the net, and lifted a backhand shot just high enough to trickle over the blocker of Ducks' goalie Jonas Hiller. With the scored tied 4-4, rookie Kyle Palmieri scored a beautiful power play goal. As the Kings tried to clear the puck, Palmieri made a nice hustle play to keep the puck from reaching the blueline. The biscuit went to Luca Sbisa at the left point, he slid a cross ice pass to Saku Koivu, who then made a touch pass to a now wide open Palmieri in the high slot. The 22 year old ripped the shot home to score what would prove to be the game winner, at 16:14. Though the Ducks were outshot 15-6 in the period, they were not outscored. Ducks led 5-4 as the horn signaled the end of the period.
In the third period, Nick Bonino scored a power play goal at 8:39, to complete his hat trick. The Ducks still led 6-4, when the Kings pulled the goalie late in the game. It was to no avail, as Teemu Selanne scored into the empty net at 17:54. Kings Outshot Ducks 8-7 in the period.
Final shots on goal: Kings 34, Ducks 24.
3 Stars of the game (All Ducks):
1) Nick Bonino
2) Francois Beauchemin
3) Sheldon Souray
* This was in which Kyle Palmieri scored the game winning goal.
Ducks next game will be Monday Feb 4, at Honda Center vs San Jose Sharks.
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