In the third meeting between the Kings and the Ducks, the game was a little bit closer, but the end result was the same. This time, it was a 6-4 loss to their Pacific Division rivals. The Kings won their eighth game in a row, a franchise best in decades, and the Ducks winning streak (three games) came to a halt.
Certainly the Ducks played much better than they have in previous efforts, but having played the night before against Detroit, the Ducks could not maintain strong play for a full 60 minutes.
With Vesa Toskala still dealing with immigration visa issues, Jonas Hiller got the nod again in net, rather than play Justin Pogge. Perhaps Hiller could have used the rest, because he let in six goals.
The Ducks scored first, with Jason Blake getting his first goal in an Anaheim uniform at 5:40 of the first period. They could not maintain that pressure, however, and the Kings scored the next three goals.
Anze Kopitar tied up the game at 18:54 of the first and Wayne Simmonds gave the Kings their first lead 1:04 into the middle frame. Michal Handzus deflected Alexander Frolov’s shot on the power play at 17:00 in the second. Poor Frolov has now gone 17 games without scoring.
The Ducks came back in the third with a much better period, but not before Jack Johnson gave the Kings a three goal lead at 1:44. Rather than be deflated, the Ducks tried to find a second wind and Troy Bodie, Matt Beleskey and Ryan Carter scored the next three goals in a 6:24 span to tie up the game.
Just over 10 minutes remaining and the Ducks appeared to have a good chance, despite the Kings having a perfect 21-0 record of winning when leading after two periods. Make that 22-0 after Dustin Brown got the game winner at 14:28.
In the final minutes, the Ducks continued to press, and then Ryan Getzlaf committed a tripping penalty by tangling his stick in the King’s legs. Instead of pulling Hiller, the Ducks found themselves on the penalty kill in the final minute of the game and Kopitar netted his second goal at 19:33 to affirm the Kings win.
The Ducks will get a chance to redeem themselves against the Kings on Monday at the Honda Center in a home and home series that is split up by three days off in between. The Kings get to deal with the Red Wings on Saturday, in the meantime, and see if they can continue their winning ways or if Detroit will finally end that streak.