It never gets old defeating the Kings. As a Ducks fan, any victory over Los Angeles is a sweet one. In their building? Even better!
Despite playing in the second of back-to-back games, Anaheim looked like the better rested team in a 2-1 victory on Saturday night at Staples Center.
Frederik Andersen got the start in net, as Jonas Hiller played the night before in Colorado. Andersen had 37 saves and earned the win that keeps the Ducks on top of the Pacific Division, just two points over San Jose.
"It was a good hockey game," said Ryan Getzlaf. "It was back and forth, and a little chippy here and there. Those are the games we need to get used to during the stretch."
The scoring for the Ducks did not come from the usual suspects.
Tim Jackman got his fourth of the year at 13:01 of the first period. Patrick Maroon got the game winning goal at 12:12, just :51 seconds after Tyler Toffoli's power play goal had tied up the game for the Kings.
"You need depth scoring," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "If you don’t get it, you’re not going to win. When we were winning regularly, we were getting all four lines contributing, not necessarily on the same night, but if one wasn’t going, the other one would come in. That’s what we need to do."
It looked like the Kings, who have now lost the past three games to Anaheim, had tied things up with 6:23 remaining in the third period. Anze Kopitar had popped a puck up and over Andersen to hit the crossbar and go over the line. However the goal was denied because Marian Gaborik, acquired by the Kings at the trade deadline, had incidental contact with Andersen, preventing him from making a save.
Needless to say, Kings fans were not happy with the call or the fact that it was not reviewable because of the goalie interference. Trash and debris was thrown onto the ice in protest, causing Ducks color commentator Brian Hayward to refer to the "idiot Kings fans."
It took nearly five minutes to clean up the mess before the game could resume, yet no one ever seems to call a penalty for the delay. For the record:
Rule #63.4 Objects Thrown on the Ice – In the event that objects are thrown on the ice that interfere with the progress of the game, the Referee shall blow the whistle and stop the play and the puck shall be faced-off at a face-off spot in the zone nearest to the spot where play is stopped. When objects are thrown on the ice during a stoppage in play, including after the scoring of a goal, the Referee shall have announced over the public address system that any further occurrences will result in a bench minor penalty being assessed to the home Team. Articles thrown onto the ice following a special occasion (i.e. hat trick) will not result in a bench minor penalty being assessed.
However, I will say I do understand the frustration of the Kings fans. Nonetheless, chucking that much stuff was an idiot move.
Chances are good that the Ducks will get to face Los Angeles in the playoffs, due to the new division configurations.
"It’s going to be tough for the Kings to catch us now," said Boudreau. "They’re 15 points back with 14 games to go. They were playing so well, I didn’t think they were going to lose another game this year. It was a real important thing for us to come in here and stand our ground against them, and show that we compete against them."
The Ducks have one more game against LA on April 12 before the season ends.
For now, the Ducks head home for a game against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
"It was huge to get the Calgary game behind us, and get back to the way we’ve been playing," said Andersen. "Getting back to basics. It’s huge to win the week. We can’t get those two points back, but we’re happy about our week."
How about we make it another happy week, without a debacle like the one in Calgary?