LOS ANGELES – The Kings fired away; Frederik Andersen acted as the firewall.
In a 38-shot performance that saw the Kings relentless efforts come up short against the Pacific Division’s top club, the Kings fell 2-1 to Anaheim tonight, dropping their second straight game.
With the win, the Ducks snapped their five-game losing streak at STAPLES Center, winning their first game at the intersection of Figueroa St. and Chick Hearn Blvd. for the first time since April 9, 2011.
Anaheim got on the scoreboard both first and last, which is often a recipe for success.
Deep into the first period, with solid positioning and controlled puck possession in the trenches of the Kings’ zone, Mathieu Perreault snuck a tidy pass to Tim Jackman, who chipped the puck past Martin Jones to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead 13:01 into the game.
It was just Jackman’s fourth goal of the season, but a big one nonetheless from the Kings’ former forward, who played five games in a Los Angeles uniform during the 2006-2007 season.
After going scoreless in the first period, the Kings delivered while executing on Anaheim’s only second period penalty.
The Kings would knot the contest 1-1 on their third powerplay opportunity of the night. Jarret Stoll walked in from the sideboards, fired a shot on Andersen who stymied Stoll with his left pad, but Anaheim’s netminder couldn’t control the rebound.
Finding solid positioning in front of Anaheim’s net was Tyler Toffoli, who buried Stoll’s rebound for his 11th goal of the season, evening the score with 8:39 remaining in the second period.
It was Toffoli’s first goal in nine games, and his second in 25.
Just :51 seconds after Toffoli evened the score, Anaheim responded to recapture the lead.
Patrick Maroon, who was behind Martin Jones’ net, looking for an outlet in the slot, attempted a pass out front to a teammate, but instead Maroon’s pass ricochet off of a sprawling Jake Muzzin and into the Kings’ net.
Muzzin, who was only looking to break up Maroon’s passing lanes, ended up being the core of a bad and unfortunate bounce.
With 6:23 to play in the third period, the Kings looked to have tied the game when Anze Kopitar beat Frederik Andersen from high atop the slot.
The puck, which clearly crossed the goal line, wasn’t the issue.
Marian Gaborik was called for goaltender interference on the play, automatically nixing Kopitar’s goal without consent needed from video review.
The Kings recorded 38 shots on Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen, and the Ducks blocked an additional 17 shot attempts.
The Kings have now dropped two straight contests after pulling together an eight-game win streak. Their record now sits at 38-24-6, which is good for 82 points, and situates them at sixth-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings now find themselves just seven points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for the Pacific Division’s third and final guaranteed playoff spot. Phoenix will be in town Monday night for a date at STAPLES Center.
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