The last time the Kings and Ducks met in pre-season, the Kings left a great big whoop ass mark on the Ducks waddly little bottoms with a 6-0 defeat. The final meeting of the two teams before the regular season begins did not end in a win for the Ducks, but the 2-1 loss was a lot less embarrassing and much better played overall. Good thing, too, because the game was actually televised, a pre-season rarity.
Anaheim scored first with Hampus Lindholm getting a power play tally at 6:09 of the first period. The Kings finally broke through Viktor Fasth, who had 31 saves, late in the second period with a power play goal from Justin Williams.
The game remained tied until Anze Kopitar scored early in the third period to put Los Angeles ahead. After that, the Ducks were unable to get anything more past Jonathan Quick.
"You can’t relax out there," observed Lindholm. "That’s something we learned today. The first second you relax, you’re going to get one in the back of the net. It was a good lesson."
Once again, the "play the full 60 minutes" message did not get through the synapses. A second or two is all that is needed to change a game.
"The problem right now is we’re not scoring any goals," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "We’ve got to find a way to score some goals. Defensively, the goalies have been great and we haven’t allowed a lot. We’ve got to find a way to score."
The loss to the Kings leaves Anaheim 3-3-0 in the pre-season, with a final game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at the Honda Center. After that, it is final cuts and open on the road in Colorado next Wednesday, October 2.
In other notes:
This year's first round draft pick, defenseman Shea Theodore, was signed to a three-year entry level contract on Tuesday. Theodore would earn $925,000 annually in teh NHL or $70,000 if he is on the AHL roster.
With all the minor and major bang ups to the Anaheim defense, Theodore could conceivably find himself on the opening night roster and at least get a 10 game peak before a final decision is made about the youngster.