ANAHEIM -- Martin Jones admitted there may have been visions of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry dancing in his head Monday night after he found out he would make his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks, one of the more dynamic offensive teams in the NHL.
"A little bit of lost sleep last night and a little bit of pregame [nap lost]," Jones said.
The 23-year-old Los Angeles Kings rookie goalie said it with a well-earned smile after he made 26 saves and stopped all nine attempts in the shootout to help the Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 Tuesday night.
Dwight King scored the only goal in the shootout when he snapped a shot past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller's glove in the ninth round before Jones stopped Mathieu Perreault to seal his first NHL win and send mixed cheers throughout the standing-room-only crowd of 17,294 at Honda Center.
"It was a great experience and something I've dreamt about for a long time, to play an NHL game and to get the win," Jones said. "It was everything it was cracked up to be."
Actually, it was a bit more. Jones, who hadn't played a game at any level since Nov. 9, when he got the start for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, stopped Perry, Getzlaf, Nick Bonino, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Dustin Penner, Kyle Palmieri, Matt Beleskey and Perreault in the tiebreaker.
His teammates embraced him after his save on Perreault in the ninth round sealed the win.
"He's a great goaltender," Jarret Stoll said. "He's great in the American Hockey League. I know this league is different. But sometimes when you come up, you're so excited you play well. You're excited to play. You're excited to make saves, and he had to do that for us. Whether it was on the penalty kill or in the shootout, he was reading guys, reading the shots very well. He passed the test with flying colors."
Hiller matched Jones through eight rounds before King's goal after he had made 49 saves in regulation and overtime. The Ducks remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss at home (10-0-2), but there was a sense of disappointment after L.A. imposed its methodical ways on Anaheim.
"We never had the puck," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They had the puck all the time and were doing all the shooting. They shot from everywhere. They play very similar to [the San Jose Sharks]. We got in the lanes and got a lot of blocks and everything else, but it's just the whole … it's the work ethic; the work ethic has got get a lot better."
In a prelude to the Jan. 25 Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, the game featured all the near-misses and exciting ebbs and flows that have become typical of the Kings-Ducks rivalry. In overtime, the Ducks couldn't score on a two-man advantage, and the Kings' Jake Muzzin missed a prime chance in front during a 4-on-3 power play.
"Why not?" Sutter asked. "The other guy's not used to playing every game. Some things slip in there a little bit.
"I think he is a pretty poised guy when you watch him. Hopefully this is something he can build on. The best part was the linesman brought the puck over; the best part. Good for him."
Jones didn't have much work early as L.A. muddied Anaheim's skating game. The Kings had a 16-6 advantage in shots on goal after the first period, 24-6 near the midway point of the second and 51-28 overall. The 51 shots were a season-high for L.A.
"We've definitely got to start earlier," Hiller said. "It's tough to win those games when you're on your heels for two periods. We had a chance at the end to get two points. It's never fun to lose. Those games are probably more disappointing. The only good thing is they're easier to check off and say, 'I tried everything I could.' I think at some point we've got to find a way to score in the shootout."
Kings captain Dustin Brown ended a six-game goal-scoring drought with a shot that went off Hiller's glove and bounced into the net at 5:43 of the third to tie it 2-2.
A big special-teams swing in the third period saw the Ducks take a 2-1 lead. Perry induced a holding penalty on Slava Voynov and was left alone on Jones for a backhand goal to convert the power play at 2:14 of the third. Dustin Penner made a great play to bat the puck over to Perry in a thicket of players.
L.A. had just come up empty on its own power-play opportunity. The Kings went 0-for-5 to extend their slide to 0-for-25 the past seven games.
Anaheim found its game about halfway through the second when Getzlaf made up for a costly turnover when he swatted in Hampus Lindholm's midair rebound at 7:51. Los Angeles appeared gassed and couldn't backcheck the rush, allowing Getzlaf to position himself on the right side for his 14th goal, one shy of his total last season.
Forty-six seconds earlier, it was Getzlaf who sent a pass through the middle off a faceoff that Jeff Carter easily intercepted before roofing a wrist shot past Hiller at 7:05.
Jones matched Hiller in an entertaining second period. He stoned Penner on a terrific backhand chance off a Getzlaf pass. Hiller stopped King on a 2-on-1 after Sami Vatanen lost the puck in Anaheim's zone.
Sutter summed it up in the first comment of his scrum.
"Pretty good game to watch," he said.
The teams entered the game a combined 35-14-8, the best cumulative record for any meeting in Kings-Ducks series history (113 games).
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