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Ducks Lose Entertaining Battle With Kings
The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Los Angeles Kings Friday night at Honda Center. The teams had only met once before during this season with LA winning 4-1. John Gibson got the start in net against Pheonix Copley.
The Kings got the opening score in the first as Alex Iafallo flung the puck toward the net and it redirected off Blake Lizotte and in. Kevin Shattenkirk was also tripped just prior to the goal, but no penalty was called. LA got an early lucky bounce and had a 1-0 lead after the first period.
The Ducks answered back early in the second period with a goal by Kevin Shattenkirk. He took a point shot from the blue line that beat Copley through traffic to tie the game up. The puck hit the far post and bounced in.
The Kings then responded with two goals of their own. Viktor Arvidsson scored from the right face-off dot near the boards. He took a shot that redirected off Shattenkirk’s stick causing the puck to go high over Gibson’s shoulder. Adrian Kempe then scored on a power play beating Gibson low stick side.
In the final minute of the second period, the two teams went at it in the Kings zone. Copley mixed it up with the Ducks players near the net, which prompted Gibson to skate out to center ice. It looked like we might have a goalie fight on our hands, but the refs quickly grabbed Copley and escorted him off the ice. He ended up being kicked out of the game and the Ducks had a five minute power play.
In the third, the Ducks pulled within one during the power play. Mason McTavish beat Jonathan Quick high to make it a 3-2 game.
Anze Kopitar would then respond for LA on they own power play. The Kings would win the face-off and the puck would come to Kopitar in-between the face-off circles and he would one time the puck low beating Gibson on his glove side.
The Ducks would then answer back with a goal by Frank Vatrano to again get the Ducks within one goal. He would get the puck in the slot and take two shots, which were both blocked. He stuck with the play and his third shot beat Quick to make it a 4-3 game.
The Kings got a late power play and the Ducks nearly killed it off, but Arvidsson scored right before the man advtange expired. He got the puck in close at the side of the net and lifted it up over Gibson’s shoulder and just under the cross bar.
The Ducks then pulled Gibson for the extra attacked with a minutes to go. Kevin Fiala scored an empty net goal to make it a 6-3 score, which ended up being the final.
The Ducks had a decent start getting the first two shots on goal, but then it was all Kings as they ended up outshooting the Ducks 14 to 5 in the first period. Anaheim did come out of the first period only down by a goal. The real fun began in the second period as the scoring picked up and tempers flared. We nearly had a goalie fight on our hands in this contest, but the refs prevented it from happening.
The Ducks fought back in this game, which was highly entertaining especially in the second half of the contest. The Kings did get some puck luck early in this game, but the special teams play was key in this game. LA scored on three of their four power plays. The Ducks were only able to get one goal with their five minute power play.
The Ducks were also outshot 41 to 27. They had trouble winning face-offs as LA won 69% of the battles. It is frustrating to see the losing streak continue and to get beat by LA, but it appears the Freeway Face-off of old has returned between these two teams.
The Ducks are currently on a four game losing streak. They have been out scored 26 to 11 in that span.
It appears Lukas Dostal will remain with the team on the upcoming road trip.
Troy Terry did skate at the optional practice before the game. He could join the team on the upcoming road trip.
The Ducks travel to Florida to take on the Panthers on Monday at 10AM.
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February 18th, 2023