This was a clash of two hot teams. The Los Angeles Kings had won 5 of their last 6. The Anaheim Ducks had won 6 in a row. Monday night, Feb 25 in downtown Los Angeles, the two teams met. This was their second meeting of the season, the Ducks having won the first game, 7-4 on Feb 2 in Anaheim. In the Kings' five most recent victories, they had held the opponent to just one goal in each contest. The Ducks, on the other hand, had averaged scoring four goals a game during their recent six-game winning streak. Something had to give.
The game -
First period - It was clear from the drop of the puck, that this would not be the free-wheeling, high-scoring contest that the first meeting was. Both teams were settled. There was no scoring, as the teams played each other to a draw.
Shots on goals in first period: Kings 9, Anaheim 7
Second period - Just 13 seconds in, the Ducks drew first blood. Ryan Getzlaf corralled the puck at the bottom of the faceoff circle, to the right of Kings' goalie Jonathan Quick. He then made a nice spin-o-rama type move which froze the Kings in place. He took that opportunity to whip a quick pass through the crease, to a wide open Andrew Cogliano, Cogs tapped it in for his fifth goal of the season. The Kings drew even just 3:03 later, when Jarrett Stoll found Penner alone on the doorstep, and Penner tipped in his first goal of the season. At the 5:51 mark, with Dustin Brown in the penalty box for tripping, Anaheim again took the lead. Francois Beauchemin's point shot was stopped by Quick, and Rob Scuderi attempted to clear out the rebound. Unfortunately, his clearing attempt wound up right on the stick of Saku Koivu, who did not miss. The Ducks were still up 2-1 with time winding down. Anze Kopitar made a nice play in the neutral zone, as he trapped the puck against the boards, and the shoveled it to Brown. The Kings' captain broke across the blueline with speed, he then cut down towards the net, and used defenseman Cam Fowler as a screen. He ripped a shot over the glove of goaltender Jonathan Fasth, to tie the game at 2-2 with 2:07 left in the period. That is how the period would end.
Shots on goal in second period: Kings 11, Ducks 14
Third period - This one would belong to the home team. Kopitar set up the game-winning goal, when he carried the puck down low, and then fed it back to Slava Voynov at the point. The young Russian phenom hammered a slapshot which made it through Fasth, and barely trickled across the goal line, at 4:46. Jake Muzzin would later add a power play goal at 6:23, and then Jeff Carter ended the scoring, with an empty-net goal at 19:39.
Shots on goal in third period: Kings 4, Anaheim 5
Final score: Kings 5, Anaheim 2
Final shots on goal: Kings 24, Anaheim 26
Power plays: Kings 1-2, Anaheim 1-3
Kings scored 3 goals on only 4 shots in third period. Kings have now won four straight, and 6 of 7. Next up for the Kings, will be the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night at Staples Center. That will wrap up this three game homestand. Jeff Carter has now scored 10 goals in the first 17 games of the season.
Kings overall record is now 9-6-2 (7th place in Western conference).
Three Stars of the game:
#1) Anze Kopitar (3 assists)
#2) Slava Voynov (1 goals, 1 assist)
#3) Dustin Penner (1goal)
Kings forward line combinations:
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