By Adam Tenenbaum
The Anaheim Ducks were back in action after three days off, as they hit the road and faced off against their rivals, Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. The Kings are coming home after dropping two in a row on the road and come in with a record of 4-5-0, good for 8 points, while the Ducks are 3-4-2, also good for 8 points. Ducks forward, Rickard Rakell drew into the lineup tonight for his first game of the season, fresh off his six-year contract extension. The starting goaltenders in this contest were John Gibson for the Ducks and Peter Budaj for the Kings.
In the first period, Jared Boll and Kyle Clifford would drop the gloves early as the intensity of the rivalry was started just minutes after puck drop. Later in the period, Drew Doughty was sent to the box for tripping as the Ducks got their first power play of the night. The Kings would kill it off as the game remained scoreless. Late in the period, Kevin Bieksa would drop the mitts with Clifford as each of them exchanged punches before being sent to the sin bin for five minutes. Following the fight, the Ducks would get on the board as Rakell scores his first goal of the year, to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. That would be the score after the opening period, as the Ducks led 1-0 after 20. Shots in the first were 7 to 6 in favor of the Kings.
In the second, the Ducks would go on the power play for four minutes as Jake Muzzin received a double-minor for high-sticking. On the power play, Antoine Vermette scores his first goal of the year as the Ducks go up 2-0 on the Kings. Remaining on the power play, Ryan Kesler tips in a pass from Ryan Getzlaf to extend the lead to 3-0. Later in the period, Joseph Cramarossa would get on the board, as he scored a wrap-around goal for his first NHL goal, and extended the Ducks lead to 4-0. That would be the score at the end of two periods, as the Ducks led the Kings 4-0. Shots on goal in the second were 11 to 10 in favor of Los Angeles.
In the third, tempers would flare as midway through the period, as Derek Forbort and Clayton Stoner would get game misconducts and Getzlaf, Cramarossa , Jordan Nolan and Nick Shore would receive fighting majors as well as an extra two minutes for roughing to Shore, giving the Ducks a power play chance. The Ducks did not score as they went two for four with the extra man on the night. Late in the period, Josh Manson would go the box for holding the stick as the Kings would get their first power play of the night. They did not score as they would 0 for 1 with the extra man. Minutes later, the horn sounded for the end of the game, as the Ducks defeated the Kings 4-0 and goaltender John Gibson stopped all 30 shots for his 7th career shutout. Shots in the third were 12 to 5 in favor of the Kings.
Key Moment of the Game:
The key moment of this game was early in the second period as the Ducks scored two power play goals following the double minor to Muzzin to extend their lead to 3-0. Up until that point, the Kings were very much in the game.
Key Player of the Game:
Rickard Rakell – He was superb his first game back as he scored a goal and assisted on two others, as he picks up a three-point night in his season debut.
Key Stat of the Night:
By virtue of the shutout, the Los Angeles Kings have been shut out three consecutive games for the first time since 1969.
The Ducks hit the ice at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game starts at 7:30 PM PT.
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