Kings bounce back, slip past Ducks

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[January 18, 2016]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- One day after one of their most frustrating losses of the season, the Los Angeles Kings returned to the form that enabled them to win two of the past four Stanley Cups.

Winger Tyler Toffoli and center Anze Kopitar scored in a two-minute span late in the second period, leading the Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,227 at the Honda Center.

Center Vincent Lecavalier added his second goal in two games, and goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots for the Kings (28-13-3), who extended their lead in the Pacific Division over the second-place Arizona Coyotes to 10 points.

"We took care of the puck a lot better," Kopitar said in reference to Los Angeles' 5-3 loss Saturday to the Ottawa Senators, who scored four goals in the third period to nullify a 3-1 deficit.

Anaheim left winger David Perron, acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday with defenseman Adam Clendening for left winger Carl Hagelin, remembers the Kings from his days with the St. Louis Blues.

"They're the toughest team to play against, pretty much," Perron said. "They just grind you down for 60 minutes."

Perron scored in his first game for the Ducks (19-18-7). Fellow left winger Rickard Rakell also scored, while goalie John Gibson made 23 saves.

Toffoli used his team-leading 22nd goal to break a 1-1 tie at 15:44 of the second period. As Gibson sprawled on the ice, Toffoli received Kopitar's pass at the right post and banked a wrist shot off Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, who was standing in the crease. Kopitar earned his team-leading 25th assist.

Kopitar followed at 17:40 with his 13th goal. Left winger Milan Lucic began the sequence by sending the puck from the right corner to defenseman Brayden McNabb, who dragged a wrist shot from the top of the slot that Kopitar deflected between Gibson's pads for a 3-1 advantage.

Perron, playing on Anaheim's second line, scored his fifth goal of the season when he converted a wrist shot from the blue line near the left boards 5:33 into the third period.

Roughly four minutes later, the Ducks had the tying goal disallowed. Center Ryan Kesler's behind-the-back shot from the right post hit right winger Andrew Cogliano's right skate as Cogliano was standing in the crease, and the puck ricocheted into the net at 9:43. The referee ruled on the ice that Cogliano kicked the puck into the net, a call that video review upheld.

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"It's tough in that situation in the heat of the play," Cogliano said. "I think it's how your momentum carries your foot. Sometimes, you just move your foot a little bit. If I had just planted my skate, it maybe just would've redirected in. But it was really close. If the ref didn't call a non-goal on the ice, it could've went the other way."

Lecavalier, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 6, gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 57 seconds into the second period. With Los Angeles on a power play, Lecavalier received center Jeff Carter's pass from the right circle and sent a soft forehand from the right post between Gibson's legs.

Lecavalier, who led the NHL with 52 goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2006-07, had not scored this season until Saturday night.

"Ever since he came in, he's done a lot for us, those little plays that don't necessarily show on the score sheet," Kopitar said. "He takes a lot of faceoffs, especially in our zone, which usually turn out to be very, very big plays."

Just 33 seconds later, Rakell tied the score. Rakell registered his ninth goal when he redirected defenseman Shea Theodore's shot from the blue line over Quick's right shoulder.

NOTES: Kings RW Dustin Brown needs one point to tie Mike Murphy for 11th on the club's all-time list. ... Los Angeles scratched D Christian Ehrhoff and C Nick Shore. ... Anaheim scratched G Frederik Andersen, LW Jiri Sekac, D Clayton Stoner and D Adam Clendening, who came from the Pittsburgh Penguins with LW David Perron early Saturday in a trade for LW Carl Hagelin. ... Ducks D Cam Fowler skated Saturday for the first time since spraining his right knee Dec. 27 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Fowler was leading the Ducks in playing time when he sustained the injury. ... Anaheim recalled G Anton Khudobin from AHL San Diego.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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