By Michael Walters
The teams went right at it in the beginning of the period as all ten players got in a scrum just two minutes into the game. On the next face-off Chris Stewart and Kyle Clifford went at it some more and both earned matching minors. Halfway through the period the physical play continued as Quick held on to Corey Perry, which resulted in another skirmish. The result was both received matching minors. Korbinian Holzer and Luke Schenn both earned roughing minors as well. After that 4-on-4 play ended, then the Ducks would go on the power play as Dustin Brown was called for interference. Shortly after Cam Fowler received a hooking penalty and the teams played 4-on-4 once again. During that sequence Jakob Silfverberg made a nice pass to find an open Ryan Kesler, who scored to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. Shots favored LA nine to five.
The Kings came out strong in this period and scored two early goals. A fortunate bounce behind Anaheim’s net resulted in the puck coming out in front and onto the stick of Milan Lucic, who had a partial open net to score with. The game was tied 1-1. Shortly after Ryan Getzlaf and Schenn dropped the gloves and fought. Both received five minute majors for fighting. Then less than a minute later Brayden McNabb would take a point shot that Kris Versteeg would redirect into the crossbar. As the puck was falling down, Versteeg would hit it again and it hit the post. On the third attempt he knocked it in for the easy score. The rest of the period the Kings continued to attack and Gibson kept it a one goal game. The Ducks did have a power play at the end of the period that would carry over to the third. Shots were 15 to seven in favor of LA.
The Ducks started the third period on the power play, but couldn’t convert. The Ducks tried to make a push to tie the game this period, but couldn’t get it done. Quick turned away everything that came his way. The Ducks pulled Gibson in the final moments, but still lost 2-1.
Key Moment of the Game
Versteeg’s goal. It gave the Kings a 2-1 lead and it was all they needed as the Ducks couldn’t find the equalizer.
Key Stat of the Game
20 shots by Anaheim. The offense couldn’t get it going in this contest. The Ducks had a difficult time sustaining a forecheck and getting shots on net against LA’s defense.
Player of the Game
John Gibson. He played his heart out in this game and deserved a better fate. Both goals he gave up were the result of fortunate bounces for the Kings.
After the first period, the Ducks held a 1-0 advantage and Gibson held the fort down for Anaheim. From the second period on however, it was all Los Angeles. They dominated the play in the second period and could have easy scored three or four goals if it wasn’t for the play of Gibson. The Ducks had only two moments of sustained pressure in the third period. They had a few good shifts about halfway through the period and then at the very end, but it wasn’t enough. The Ducks couldn’t get an consistent offensive flow to their game all night long and it cost them. The Kings did get fortunate bounces on both their goals, but the reality is the Ducks effort was not there last night.
The Kings bounced goals past Gibson and bounced the Ducks out of first place. The Kings can now clinch the division with a win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Even if the Ducks were to win both their final games, the teams would be tied at 103 points. The first tie breaker is regulation and OT wins(ROW), which the Kings lead the Ducks 46 to 41. If the Kings lose in regulation on Saturday, then the Ducks need three points this weekend to claim the division. If the Kings earn one point, then the Ducks need to win both games against Colorado and Washington.
The Ducks take on the Colorado Avalanche Saturday at 2:30PM PT.
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