By Chris DiPierro
ANAHEIM, Calif - Chris Kunitz tallied a goal and an assist and JS Giguere stopped 41 shots to lift the Ducks to an Opening Night victory over the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on Friday at Honda Center.
Kings rookie center Anze Kopitar got his first two career NHL goals in the contest.
The Ducks, after enduring 22 LA shots in the first period, traded a pair of goals with the Kings in the second.
Corey Perry got the Ducks on the scoreboard first at 4:49 of the middle frame. Perry flipped a shot from the side of the net that bounced off the right pad of Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier and into the net.
The Kings answered at 9:14 of the second period when Kopitar scored his first of the night. The 19-year-old forward worked the puck from right to left in front of Giguere and got the Anaheim netminder down before shooting.
Kopitar gave the Kings their first lead of the game two minutes later with a soft backhand at the net. Francois Beauchemin inadvertently deflected the puck between Giguere's legs to put the Kings on top 2-1 at 11:26.
Andy McDonald capped the second period scoring at 13:27. The play was the product of hard work along the wall by Kunitz who kept the puck in the zone and found linemate Teemu Selanne in the corner. Selanne fed McDonald a pass in front of the net that the center one-timed by Cloutier to tie the contest 2-2.
Ryan Getzlaf broke the tie at 6:45 of the third period. Defenseman Sean O'Donnell hit a body in front of the net with a low shot. Getzlaf picked up the loose puck, spun and fired it over Cloutier's glove for his first goal of the season.
Kunitz gave the Ducks a two-goal lead on the power play at 9:00 of the third period. Scott Niedermayer found Kunitz at the post to give Anaheim a 4-2 advantage.
Lubomir Visnovsky got Los Angeles within a goal in the third. The Kings defenseman blasted a slap shot on the power play at 14:53 to cut the Anaheim lead to 4-3.
Anaheim travels to Phoenix to face the Coyotes tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on KDOC-TV and heard on AM 830.
DUCKS VS. KINGS - GAME LOG - FINAL
POSTGAME - 3 Stars: 1. JS Giguere (41 Saves), 2. Chris Kunitz (1 goal, 1 assist), 3. Teemu Selanne (2 assists)
Attendance: 17,174 (Sellout)
20:00 - END OF GAME. FINAL SCORE ANAHEIM 4, LOS ANGELES 3. FINAL SHOTS ON GOAL ANA 13-32, LA 8-44.
16:43 - LA's Rob Blake takes a holding minor.
14:53 - LOS ANGELES GOAL. Lubomir Visnovsky beats Giguere on the power play with a slap shot from the point to cut Anaheim's lead to 4-3. The goal is Visnovsky from Sean Avery and Brian Willsie.
13:16 - Anaheim's Todd Marchant is called for holding.
11:30 - LA's Craig Conroy takes an interference minor. Anaheim's Selanne gets called on the dive.
9:00 - ANAHEIM GOAL. Chris Kunitz gives Anaheim a 4-2 third period lead on the power play. Scott Niedermayer got a low shot on net that was deflected by Kunitz at the post. The goal is Kunitz from Niedermayer and Selanne.
7:25 - LA penalty taken by Mike Cammalleri for hooking. Anaheim 0-3 on the power play.
6:45 - ANAHEIM GOAL. Ryan Getzlaf scores his first of the season. Ducks defenseman Sean O'Donnell fired a puck toward the front of the net that hit a body. Getzlaf turned and fired a wrist shot over Cloutier's glove to break the 2-2 tie. The goal is Getzlaf from O'Donnell.
3:12 - Anaheim's Joe DiPenta is called for hooking. LA goes on their sixth power play, they are 0-5.
0:00 - 3rd period play is under way.
20:00 - End of 2nd period. The Ducks and Kings are tied 2-2. Shots on goal: ANA 9/19, LA 14/36.
16:07 - Anaheim's Chris Kunitz is whistled for boarding on the play (which resulted in the glass breaking). LA is 0-4 on the power play.
16:07 - The glass in front of the scorekeeper's area (between the penalty boxes) is snapped in half creating a short delay.
13:56 - LA's Brian Willsie is called for tripping. Anaheim is on their first power play of the second period. They were 0-2 in the first.
13:27 - ANAHEIM GOAL. Andy McDonald gets the goal. Chris Kunitz makes the play happen by digging the puck out along the near wall at the blue line. Kunitz finds Selanne in the corner. Selanne crosses the puck in front of the net to McDonald who rifles a one-timer past Cloutier. The goal is McDonald from Selanne and Kunitz.
11:26 - LOS ANGELES GOAL. Kopitar scores his second of the game. Kopitar wasted a backhand on net that deflected off the stick of Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and through Giguere's legs. The goal is Kopitar from Kevin Dallman and Dan Cloutier.
9:14 - LOS ANGELES GOAL. Anze Kopitar scores his first career NHL goal. Kopitar got by defenseman Chris Pronger and worked the puck from right to left beating an out-stretched JS Giguere. The goal is Kopitar from Dustin Brown and Mike Cammalleri.
4:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL. Corey Perry, with Kings defenseman Rob Blake stick-checking him at the side of the net, flipped the puck off Cloutier's pad and inside the near post. The goal is Perry unassisted for his first of the season.
0:40 - Rob Niedermayer is called for cross checking giving LA a 5-on-3 advantage for 47 seconds.
0:00 - 2nd period is underway. The Kings start on the power play with 1:27 remaining on Selanne's minor.
20:00 - End of the 1st period. Ducks and Kings are scoreless. Shots on goal: ANA 10, LA 22
19:26 - The Ducks' Teemu Selanne goes off for hooking. LA is 0-2 on the power play.
12:31 - Anaheim's Chris Kunitz is called for a hook just after the Ducks killed LA's first power play.
10:15 - The Ducks' Francois Beauchemin is caught holding the stick to give the Kings their first power play.
7:07 - Anaheim can't convert on the two-man advantage despite three scoring chances. Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger rung a one-timer off the post from the point.
5:06 - LA's Craig Conroy is whistled for a hook creating a 5-on-3 for the Ducks.
4:48 - LA's Scott Thornton takes a slashing minor. This is Anaheim's first power play.
3:33 - Todd Fedoruk and Raitis Ivanans drop the gloves in front of the penalty box. Both are issued fighting majors, the first penalties of the game.
0:00 - The opening face off is won by the Ducks. The season is under way.
PREGAME - Sara Evans delivered a stirring rendition of the National Anthem. The start of the 2006-2007 season upcoming.
PREGAME - Player introductions are under way. Just a few more minutes to face off.
PREGAME - Starters: ANAHEIM - G 35 JS GIGUERE, D 27 S NIEDERMAYER, D F BEAUCHEMIN, RW D PENNER, LW 38 R SHANNON, C 22 T MARCHANT
LOS ANGELES - G 39 D CLOUTIER, D 5 B SOPEL, D 14 M NORSTROM, LW S AVERY, RW 27 S THORNTON, C C CONROY
Scratches: ANAHEIM: 18 I MORAN, LW S CHISTOV, 39 T GREEN
LOS ANGELES: 8 M WEAVER, 28 O TVERDOSKY, 29 T KOSTOPOULOS
PREGAME - Warm-ups have just wrapped up. Stay tuned for scratches and starting lineups.