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|11/16/11 - Kings Post Game Win Celebration - Thu, 17 Nov 2011|
|Three Strikes, All Out. - Wed, 16 Nov 2011 00:00:00 EST|
|Ducks at Kings Shootout 11_16_11 - Wed, 16 Nov 2011 00:00:00 EST|
|11/16/11 - Post Game - Coach Murray - Wed, 16 Nov 2011|
|11/16/11 - Pre Game - Kyle Clifford - Wed, 16 Nov 2011|
|11/16/11 - Pre Game - Dustin Brown - Wed, 16 Nov 2011|
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One point, instead of two points, would have felt like a big zero.
The Kings dominated almost all of Wednesday night’s game, and nursed a one-goal lead into the final minutes of the third period. They allowed a late power-play goal but still came away smiling -- for the most part -- after a 2-1 shootout victory over the Ducks before a sellout crowd of 18,118 at STAPLES Center.
``We let them hang around,’’ said Kings winger Justin Williams, who took a late, potentially devastating penalty, but then scored the shootout winner. ``We couldn’t get that second goal past the goalie and unfortunately they scored to tie it up. It’s tough giving up a point to a division opponent but we got two.’’
By all accounts, the Kings certainly deserved the two points. They outshot the Ducks 36-21 in regulation and played a strong two-way game, and it seemed as though Mike Richards’ second-period 5-on-3 goal would hold up, particularly given the Ducks’ struggles to score in 5-on-5 situations this season.
The Ducks, though, improved their play in the third period, generated some momentum and got their break when Williams was called for an offensive-zone tripping penalty with 3:35 left in regulation.
After an offensive-zone faceoff win, Selanne rifled a shot from the middle of the left faceoff circle. Jonathan Quick made the initial stop, but the puck got through and trickled over the line. The Ducks, who were chasing the game for 56-plus minutes, suddenly had life in a 1-1 game with 3:25 remaining.
The teams traded great chances in overtime, and in the shootout, both teams scored in the third round. In the seventh round, Williams beat Jonas Hiller with a high wrist shot and Quick stopped Kurtis Foster.
The Kings exhaled. A shootout loss might have felt devastating, given how well they played in regulation.
``It is definitely good to get the two points,’’ Quick said. ``We can’t too happy about it, because they still got a point out of it. That’s a game where we were outplaying them, and we’ve got to make sure they don’t get any points and we get two. They got one there on the power play at the end that I think I could have stopped. That was a little disappointing, but to get two points, it’s always good.’’
Per usual, Quick took more blame on his shoulders than he deserved. He made a couple of brilliant third-period stops, or otherwise the Ducks might have tied the game well before Selanne’s goal.
Quick also did well in the shootout, as he stopped world-class forwards such as Bobby Ryan, Selanne and Corey Perry, and allowed Williams a chance to avenge his third-period penalty. After Hiller made three consecutive pad saves along the ice, Williams went with a high wrist shot and scored.
``It was huge goal for him, to get the two points,’’ Kings coach Terry Murray said. ``It’s unfortunate on the penalty. He’s just doing some things he has to do in order to recover some pucks, getting in on the forecheck as quick as possible. ... He bounced back. He scored a huge goal for us to get the two points.’’
In general, the game played out exactly as the team statistics indicated it might.
The Kings and Ducks both entered the game in the bottom five of the NHL in 5-on-5 goals scored, so it wasn’t a surprise that the game turned on special-teams play and the goalies.
The Kings’ regulation goal came on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period, courtesy of Mike Richards, and the Kings might have had two or three more goals if not for the strong play of Hiller and a couple bounces. At one point, a Kings close-range shot deflected off the crossbar and then the goalpost. Later, Dustin Brown just missed on what would have been a tap-in goal after a nice pass from Andrei Loktionov.
``We certainly did have more focus on throwing the puck to the net,’’ Williams said. ``Hiller made a lot of great stops, but when we get ahead, we need to try to put teams away.’’
After a scoreless first period, in which the Kings dominated and outshot the Ducks 17-5, the Kings finished killing an Anaheim power play early in the second period, then scored themselves.
The Kings broke the scoreless tie with a 5-on-3 goal 7:38 into the second period. Jack Johnson's shot from the slot went wide and came back hard off the end boards, right onto the stick of Richards to the side of the net. Richards shot quickly, before Hiller could recover, and scored to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Dustin Brown also got an assist.
``Our power play has been good all year,’’ Richards said. ``Same as 5-on-5, we’ve got to get the puck on net as much as possible and we did that. We got a fortunate bounce off the end boards and capitalized on it.’’
That’s where the game stayed until late in the third period, although the Ducks thought they had tied the game five-plus minutes into the third period. Video review, though, confirmed the officials’ call on the ice, that Getzlaf knocked the puck into the net with his glove.
The Ducks did tie the game, though, 10 seconds after Williams’ trippining penalty. Getzlaf won a faceoff and Perry got the puck back to Selanne, who shot from the middle of the left circle. Quick made the initial stop but the puck trickled past him and over the line as the Ducks tied the game with 3:25 remaining in regulation.