ANAHEIM, Calif. - Patrick Maroon scored the tiebreaking goal on a wraparound late in the second period, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Thursday night in the prelude to the clubs' landmark outdoor game this weekend.
Frederik Andersen made 30 saves for Anaheim as the Southern California rivals warmed up for their meeting at Dodger Stadium on Saturday with a physical, hard-hitting meeting dominated by the Ducks' defence.
Dustin Penner scored a power-play goal in the NHL-leading Ducks' 20th victory in 23 games. After a scoreless third period, Anaheim improved to 21-1-2 at Honda Center two days after its first home regulation loss.
Anaheim is rolling into the first warm-weather outdoor game in NHL history with a five-point lead over Chicago in the overall standings and a 17-point margin over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division.
The Kings and Ducks will head to Chavez Ravine on Friday for separate workouts on the new rink in the middle of the historic baseball park.
Just 3:13 into this meeting, Kopitar ended a personal 10-game goal drought when the Ducks left him alone near the net to bang home a cross-ice pass for his 14th goal. Kopitar is the only NHL player on Slovenia's first Olympic hockey team, and he leads the Kings in scoring for the seventh consecutive season.
Neither team mounted much offence in the first 30 minutes, but Penner hurt his former teammates by shoving home a rebound 10 seconds into another power play late in the second period.
Penner scored 11 goals in parts of three seasons with the Kings before scoring 12 goals already this season for the Ducks, who re-signed him last summer.
Maroon then put the Ducks ahead, forcing a bad pass by Willie Mitchell before getting the puck down low and wrapping it around for his fourth goal — just his second since late October.
Until Winnipeg's 3-2 victory on Tuesday snapped the Ducks' 22-game home points streak to open the season, Los Angeles was the last visiting team to win at Honda Center, taking a shootout victory Dec. 3.
The Kings haven't won since officials in Detroit blew the call on an obviously illegal tying goal by Niklas Kronwall in an eventual shootout loss to the Red Wings last Saturday.
The referees waved off an apparent Anaheim goal midway through the second period, saying Tim Jackman made contact with Quick right before Ben Lovejoy's shot went between them into Quick's net. Replays showed minimal contact, and the Honda Center crowd booed vociferously.
NOTES: The Ducks scratched forwards Daniel Winnik and Kyle Palmieri. Coach Bruce Boudreau also gave a day off to starting goalie Jonas Hiller, who acknowledged being distracted by the looming outdoor game in Tuesday's loss to Winnipeg. ... Los Angeles D Matt Greene missed his fifth straight game with an upper-body injury.
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