Kings 8, Ducks 3
With roughly two weeks left until the regular season, the Los
Angeles Kings are hoping their power play is as good as it looked
The Anaheim Ducks are really hoping their defense is a whole lot
better than it appeared.
Jack Johnson had two goals and an assist, Anze Kopitar added
four assists and the Kings routed their crosstown rivals 8-3 in an
Ryan Smyth, captain Dustin Brown, Andrei Loktionov, Wayne
Simmonds and Michal Handzus each had a goal and an assist for the
Kings, who lit up the Ducks’ rebuilt defense and backup goalie
Curtis McElhinney. Kyle Clifford also scored and Jonathan Quick
made 24 saves for the Kings, who scored four power-play goals.
Los Angeles coach Terry Murray rolled out his top players even
after taking a multigoal lead, concentrating on perfecting the
power-play prowess that got the Kings back to the playoffs last
spring after an eight-year absence.
”There were good things happening deep in the offensive zone,”
Murray said. ”Scoring on the power play is part of the game you
have to get going. You don’t normally get a lot of practice time in
that area, and to get some results on that really reinforces what
the coaching staff is trying to get to.”
Todd Marchant scored two goals for the Ducks, who got 34 saves
from McElhinney. Dan Sexton and Marchant scored 40 seconds apart
late in the third period after Los Angeles had taken a seven-goal
Anaheim knows it could struggle defensively after captain Scott
Niedermayer retired in the offseason and newcomer Toni Lydman was
sidelined indefinitely by an eye injury before training camp. Coach
Randy Carlyle didn’t expect something like this thrashing,
”We just had a terrible night,” Carlyle said. ”We didn’t do
anything to start, or to build on. You would almost think we never
practiced a defensive zone coverage when you watched us
Los Angeles scored just six goals in its first three exhibitions
combined, but the power-play unit led by star defensemen Drew
Doughty and Johnson clicked from the start against Anaheim.
The Kings outshot the Ducks 23-7 and took a 4-0 lead in the
first period, battering McElhinney from every angle. After Brown
got Los Angeles’ opening late in a two-man advantage, Simmonds
added another power-play score 38 seconds later.
Doughty and Johnson were on the ice for both scores, picking
right up where they left off as a brutally effective power-play duo
in last season’s playoffs against Vancouver.
Marchant scored early in the second, but Handzus tapped home a
loose puck back later in the period for another power-play goal.
The Kings then scored three straight goals in the third period,
including Johnson’s second score for the top power play unit.
Enforcers George Parros and Kevin Westgarth fought to a draw in
the second period, with the two Princeton alumni tumbling to the
ice together and getting up to continue the fight in one fluid
motion. Westgarth is expected to make the Kings’ roster after
racking up 25 points and 180 penalty minutes in the AHL last
Kings prospect Brayden Schenn and Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa
also had an entertaining fight in the final minutes. The tussle was
a rematch of a memorable bout between the two in juniors.