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Recap: Ducks' Comeback Attempt Thwarted Late in 2-1 Defeat to LA

by Adam Brady @AdamJBrady /

ANAHEIM -- In a spirited battle fitting of the Ducks-Kings rivalry, it was Anaheim that this time came up short.

The Ducks got half of the way to erasing a two-goal deficit in the third but couldn't manage to manufacture the tying goal in a tightly contested 2-1 defeat at Honda Center. This one came 10 days after the Ducks downed the Kings 4-2 in this same building in the first game of the Freeway Faceoff series.

"It was a good team effort, but we need to find a way to not just get the puck to the goal line a couple times, but over it," said Ducks coach Dallas Eakins. "It's something we'll continue to work on."

The Kings played a strong road game, something they haven't done much this season. Tonight's win snapped an 11-game road losing streak that dated back to late October. 

The Ducks managed to fire 15 shots on goalie Jonathan Quick in the first 18 1/2 minutes without payoff, but it was the Kings who scored first when Matt Luff punched in a loose puck in the blue paint.

Back-to-back penalties by Derek Grant and Adam Henrique early in the second period opened the door to a Kings 5-on-3 that ended with Jeff Carter hammering home a one-timer from the left circle.

Cam Fowler looked primed to pull within a goal with 12 1/2 minutes left in the frame on a shot from the slot that got behind Quick and sat inches from the stripe, with Fowler somehow being kept from finishing the job.

Anaheim finally broke through just over five minutes into the third on the power play when Grant one-timed a Jakob Silfverberg feed just inside the near post. It was the seventh goal in the last 12 games for Grant.

Video: LAK@ANA: Silfverberg connects with Grant for PPG

"It's something I've done in other times in my career in different leagues. It's a job I enjoy," Grant said of his role on the power play. "Just trying to get in the goalie's eyes and make the skilled guys make the plays. Try to make things difficult for [goalies]. The goalies are so good in this league. We need get pucks there, and we've done a better job with that recently."

The Ducks had a number of chances in the final 10 minutes go awry, thanks in part to 36 Quick saves. Anaheim sent goalie John Gibson to the bench for an extra attacker with a minute left, and twice Kings d-man Drew Doughty missed the empty net by a matter of inches. Meanwhile, the Ducks had good looks in the final seconds, but couldn't get the goal they needed.

"We know we're going to score by committee," Fowler said. "We need to be a team that has all four lines contributing. We know we have to play stingy defensively, which we've been doing. We're in these games. We need to find a way to tip the scales and get on the right side of them. You can talk so much about being so close and being right there, but eventually you need to get results."

The Ducks are back at it Saturday in a rare matinee vs. the Rangers at 1 p.m. All fans in attendance receive a free Ducks "ugly" holiday beanie.

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