By Mario Ramirez
The Anaheim Ducks (30-19-10) entered the game in 3rd place in the Pacific. They faced their crosstown rival the Los Angeles Kings (28-25-4) good for 5th place in the crowded Pacific division. The Ducks have been struggling in February losing five of their seven games this month and dropping into 3rd place in the division. The Ducks are looking for more consistent scoring with coach Randy Carlyle juggling lines throughout the last road trip. This game against the Kings might be just what they need to bring a consistent performance.
The first period was fast and filled with the intensity you ‘d expect from a matchup between these 2 teams. The Ducks recorded the first shot on goal at the 18:37 mark. Jared Boll was involved in a questionable play at the 17:35 mark. The play in question involved Boll and Kings Rookie Adrian Kempe. Kempe and Boll collided and it seemed as though Kempe speared Boll in the midsection. However, no penalty was called and Boll left to the locker but later in the period returned to the game. The Ducks were awarded the games, first power play at the 9:37 mark when Kings forward Paul Ladue was sent off for tripping Ricard Rakell. The Ducks failed to score on the man advantage but only because Sammi Vatanen rang a shot off the post behind goaltender Peter Budaj. At the 1:59 mark of the 1st Jared Boll and Kyle Clifford squared off in the game’s first fight. The tilt was an evenly matched bout with both getting 5 for fighting. A short time later the Kings got their first power play when Ducks forward Nick Ritchie was sent off for tripping. John Gibson made a big save on Tanner Pearson late in the period to keep the score at zero. The shots after one period of play ended up 9-7 Ducks.
The Ducks entered the 2nd period with 53 seconds left on the penalty kill. After successfully killing the penalty the Ducks opened the scoring at the 18:41 mark. Captain Ryan Getzlaf sent a pass cross ice to a wide open Josh Manson who put the puck past Peter Budaj making it 1-0 Ducks. At the 9:20 mark of the 2nd period the Ducks got their 2nd power play when Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin was whistled for a delay of game penalty. Muzzin knocked the goal off its moorings as the Ducks had a dangerous opportunity. The Ducks failed to get anything going on the ensuing power play and found it difficult just to enter the zone. They were able to get a chance at the end of the power play when Nick Ritchie got a few cracks from just in front of the Kings’ goal. Late in the period at the 1:21 mark Andrew Cogliano’s shot hit the post just missing making the score 2-0. The Kings came close to tying at the dying moments of the period but John Gibson kept them from getting on the board. The Shots totaled 21-14 after 2 periods with the Ducks having the advantage heading into the 3rd period.
The 3rd period started with the same intensity the first two periods were played with. The Ducks and Kings played a tight checking defensive type game. At 15:53 of the period Ducks forward Cory Perry had a dangerous opportunity to score, however, the way Perry’s season is going he was unable to finish. The period was a fast flowing period with the teams trading opportunities. John Gibson made a huge save at the 9:04 mark on a deflected shot from the point keeping the score at 1-0. With the clock winding down the Ducks were whistled for too many men on the ice at the 5:40 mark of the period. The Ducks penalty kill would come up big and keep the Kings off the scoreboard. Captain Ryan Getzlaf was stopped by Peter Budaj on a rebound in front of the net at 3:23. The Ducks were able to hold off the Kings the rest of the way coming away with the 1-0 win. Goalie John Gibson made 24 saves for the shutout and giving the Ducks a 2-1 series advantage on the season against the Kings. The Ducks ended the game with a 29-24 shots advantage.
This was a tightly played game that had a playoff-like atmosphere. The energy was high on the ice as well as in the stands. Both teams played well as did both goalies. The Ducks seemed to have the better of the play and scoring chances but were unable to capitalize on more than a few golden opportunities. Gibson continued his strong play with a 24 save shutout. Hopefully, this game can propel the Ducks in a positive direction and they can rattle off wins in a row.
The Ducks travel to Arizona to battle the Coyotes tonight at 6 PM PT.
Click below for video highlights of the Ducks win over the Kings!
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February 20th, 2017