"This is the type of game you put up on the bulletin board and say
that's what playoff hockey is like," said Penner, the former Kings
player who is in his first season as the left winger on the first
line with the Ducks. "It's playoff hockey. Most of these guys know
what that's all about."
Left winger Patrick Maroon scored the go-ahead goal in the second
period as the Ducks defeated the Kings 2-1 on Thursday night before
a sellout crowd of 17,503 at Honda Center.
The NHL-leading Ducks (38-10-5) posted their 10th win in 12 games
and dealt the Kings (29-17-6) their fourth consecutive loss. Anaheim
also improved to 21-1-2 at home.
"We came up short. That's something we have to learn from," said
center Anze Kopitar, who scored the Kings' lone goal. "We can't just
give up soft goals and easy goals."
Anaheim goalie Frederik Anderson stopped 30 shots and Kings
netminder Jonathan Quick had 19 saves.
Thursday night's clash was a prelude to Saturday's encounter at
Dodger Stadium, where more than 50,000 fans are expected to watch
the two square off in the Stadium Series, the first time an outdoor
NHL game will be played west of the Rockies.
Maroon's goal and the Anaheim defense were the difference in this
"I think we knew what we did in the first period wasn't good
enough," said Maroon, referring to the Kings outplaying the Ducks
and outshooting them 13-4 in the opening period. "After we got pucks
deep in the second period, we were physical all over the ice. We
worked their defense down low.
"We know they've played a lot of games these past few days, so we
knew what we had to do."
The Ducks scored twice within a four-minute span to seize the lead.
Penner tied the score just 10 seconds into a power play, snagging a
rebound of his own miss in front of the Kings' net and banging it
over a fallen Quick for his 12th goal of the season with 6:09 left
in the second period.
Four minutes later, Maroon delivered. He rebounded an attempt by
defenseman Mark Fistric, circled the Kings' net and backdoored
Quick for a 2-1 advantage with 2:07 remaining in the second period.
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"I know every time we play this team, it's a man's game,"
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You better be prepared to hit,
and be hit, because they're so good. Even if we got outplayed in
the first period, we can come back. Once we got our legs
underneath us, I thought we played pretty good the last two
Kopitar gave the Kings an early advantage, fielding
a lazy pass from across the ice from left winger Dwight King that
skidded past two Ducks defenders and drilling the puck by Andersen
for his 14th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead 3:13 into the first
period. But it wouldn't hold up.
"It was a good hockey game," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "You go
on the road and you win a period, lose a period and tie a period.
That's a pretty good hockey game."
The Ducks appeared to tie the score with about nine minutes
remaining in the second period when defenseman Ben Lovejoy's blast
hit the net, but referee Eric Furlatt waved it off after determining
that right winger Tim Jackson made contact with Quick in the crease
before the goal was scored.
The Kings won the initial encounter between the two in a 3-2
shootout decision on Dec. 3 in Anaheim. But players and coaches from
both teams are excited about Saturday's landmark game.
"We should have some fire in our belly and be upset," Kings right
winger Justin Williams said. "You have a home and home with a team,
especially in our division, and the top (one) of the league right
now, you better have some fire in your belly, and we'll have that."
NOTES: Ducks LW Dustin Penner returned after coach Bruce Boudreau
gave him a two-game break to rest for the series against his former
club. ... Los Angeles recalled C Tyler Toffoli and D Jeff Schultz on
Wednesday, according to the L.A. Times. LW Tanner Pearson and RW
Linden Vey were demoted to Manchester (N.H.) to make room. ... The
Ducks entered the game having scored the most goals (91) and allowed
the fewest (42) in 23 home games, both franchise bests. ... After
Saturday's game, the Kings visit the San Jose Sharks on Monday and
the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. ... Anaheim kicks off a five-game
homestand with a game on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.
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