LOS ANGELES – Jonathan Quick giveth -- but he also taketh away.
Quick's second-period misplay cost him a goal, but he was flawless while protecting a one-goal lead in the third period as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 at Staples Center on Saturday night.
Quick stopped Andrew Cogliano on the doorstep late in the second period, shortly before Mike Richards' power-play goal with 58 seconds left in the second that eventually stood as the game winner. Quick denied Matt Beleskey with his glove in the third – one of seven saves he made in the first seven minutes of the final period.
"It seems like he's getting in his groove right now and that's exactly what we need as the end of the season approaches and the playoffs come," defenseman Drew Doughty said.
Doughty also seems to be in groove -- he scored a goal, assisted on Richards' tally and has six points in the past six games.
The Kings moved within seven points behind the Ducks in the Pacific Division with six games remaining after another entertaining edition of the local series, which Los Angeles evened at 2-2. There were two breakaways, one shorthanded goal, one disallowed goal, Robyn Regehr's hit on Corey Perry and some fine goaltending.
Quick finished with 19 saves to outduel Viktor Fasth, who made great stops on Dustin Brown and Kyle Clifford in the third period. L.A. now takes a two-day break with a 4-1-1 record in the past six games of its condensed schedule.
"I liked our team," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said "We just finished seven of 11 on the road, and the White House [visit], and managed to still win our home games while we were doing it. Without having one off anywhere there, with all that traveling, I think all of our guys did a good job."
L.A. yanked the momentum back late in the second and took a 2-1 lead into the third by converting on its fourth power play when Richards cranked a slap shot from the left circle with Brown screening Fasth at 19:02.
"I think it hit my knob and went upstairs, but I didn't see much when he shot it," said Fasth, who saw nine shots in the first 40 minutes and nine in the final period for a strange 16-save loss.
"I basically just went down to … the ice, but I have to work harder to track the puck. There's always things you could have done different.
"For a goalie it's tougher to get into a game when you don't that any shots and that's what happened today. They were pretty efficient. We didn't manage to score more goals than them. That was a tough one."
Anaheim has scored five goals in its past three games, and coach Bruce Boudreau sounded alarmed to hit such a spell this late in the season.
"We're not scoring any goals," Boudreau said. "Nobody's scoring any goals. You just look at the numbers of guys that haven't scored in a long time now. What our strength at the beginning of the year was everybody was scoring and now it's a weakness because nobody's scoring."
Anaheim's penalty-killing unit actually provided the spark the Ducks needed to get going. With Daniel Winnik serving a slashing penalty early in the second period, Ryan Getzlaf blocked Jake Muzzin's shot and raced out to the puck first – getting there before Quick, who inexplicably came out above the left circle. Getzlaf easily put it in the open net at 3:07 for his fourth career shorthanded goal and his 14th goal this season.
Anaheim came off a much-needed two days off but Los Angeles came out with more energy and played most of the opening period in the Ducks' end.
It capitalized on Doughty's point shot that hit at least one Anaheim stick on its way to the net at 10:10. Trevor Lewis drove the length of the ice and had his shot stopped before Jarret Stoll grabbed the puck and L.A. worked it around up top.
Sutter took Doughty off the first power-play unit, and Doughty used it as motivation.
"Darryl was kind of trying to teach me a little bit of a lesson that it just doesn't come – you got to do something to have the privilege to be on the first power play unit," said Doughty, who has two goals and six assists against Anaheim this season.
"I was frustrated at the time that I wasn't on it, so when he finally gave me a chance I think I finally made an opportunity of it."
The Ducks were outshot, 6-1, in the first 20 minutes – the fewest shots the Kings have allowed in a period this season. L.A. typically closed well, too, and improved to 103-1-11 in its past 115 games when leading after two periods.
"They're a good hockey team," Getzlaf said. "There's a reason they've got back to where they are in the standings in the second half of this year. In that first period, we've got to come out a little bit harder. To have one shot after the first period isn't acceptable against a team like this."
Matthew Lombardi was a healthy scratch.
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