ANAHEIM - It typically has the feel of a playoff atmosphere when the Ducks and Kings do battle, and tonight was no exception inside an electric Honda Center.
Sixty electrifying minutes unsurprisingly wasn't enough to decide the season's first skirmish between the longtime rivals, giving way to a 3-on-3 overtime in which LA ultimately prevailed for a 4-3 victory. The Ducks finally ran out of breaks with 1:09 left in OT, as Kings center Nick Shore whipped a wrist shot from the left wing circle that beat goalie Ryan Miller on the glove side.
After surrending a two-goal lead for the second time tonight, the Ducks dodged a number of bullets in the latter part of the third period and overtime. That included two waved-off goals, two killed power plays and a handful of huge saves for Miller, who replaced injured starter John Gibson late in the game. But Anaheim's luck finally ran out in dropping a fourth straight game but earning a hard-fought point on a night where they were still missing a number of big names with injuries.
"The emotion got high in the third period and we were still playing to win the game," Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "We want to be physical at the same time, so we will take penalties, but have to limit those for sure."
The Ducks got the night's first goal six minutes into the game when defenseman Brandon Montour drew goalie Jonathan Quick out of position before circling around the net and feeding in front to Jared Boll. He found the open net for his first goal in 59 games as a Duck.
Video: LAK@ANA: Boll capitalizes on Quick's poor positioning
The Ducks had a golden opportunity soon afterward when a blindside hit by Kurtis MacDermid on Ondrej Kase resulted in a game misconduct for MacDermid and gave Anaheim a five-minute major. But the Ducks didn't score until seconds after the penalty expired, when Sami Vatanen roofed a wrister off a Kings turnover to make it 2-0.
Video: LAK@ANA: Vatanen wires wrister past Quick
Kase, meanwhile, was shaken up from the hit and left the game for good with an upper body injury.
It was just the latest ailment for the Ducks, who announced this morning that captain Ryan Getzlaf had surgery to repair a fracture to his zygomatic bone (cheek) and his recovery could be up to two months. He joins Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves on injured reserve.
LA cut the 2-0 lead in half with three minutes left in the first period when Anaheim couldn't clear the puck and Anze Kopitar cashed in from the slot.
Anaheim made it a two-goal lead again with five minutes left in the middle frame when Rickard Rakell unleashed a slap shot from above the right wing circle that popped the water bottle. The Kings challenged that Corey Perry interfered with Quick seconds before the goal, but officials upheld the goal after replay review.
Video: LAK@ANA: Rakell beats Quick with slap shot
"I thought we had some momentum in the first period," Beauchemin said. "We created a lot of chances and had a lot of shots on net. We had a goal at the end of that one. Same thing in the second period. We were strong on the power play and had a few good chances. PK [penalty kill] was strong all night. Our goalies made the big saves."
Yet the Ducks had a defensive breakdown with just under a minute left in that period, allowing Tanner Pearson to make a backhand pass that Adrian Kempe deposited into an open net.
"You have to be in control," said Ducks assistant coach Trent Yawney, filling in for Randy Carlyle in the postgame media scrum. "The goal at the end of the second period kind of deflated us a little bit. We never got any traction against a really good team."
A mental error led almost directly to the tying goal six minutes into the third, as the Ducks were whistled for too many men on the ice and the Kings made them pay early in the power play courtesy of Dustin Brown on the doorstep.
LA appeared to score a third unanswered with 9:45 left in the game on a one-timer by Brown off a Drew Doughty feed, but Anaheim challenged that the Kings were offside prior to the goal. A relatively quick replay review confirmed that, and the goal was disallowed.
Another almost-goal for LA was waved off immediately on the ice when Gibson - who had lost his stick seconds before - had his mask fly off while stopping a Kings one-timer just before Brooks Laich punched the puck under him.
Gibson appeared to take a stick to the head after the mask came off, and he headed to the locker room, to be replaced by Miller.
The veteran acquired by the Ducks last July made a number of big saves among his 10 on the night, but he finally succumbed to Shore's open shot in overtime.
Meanwhile, the Ducks failed to generate much on the other end in the home stretch, managing just seven shots in the third period and overtime to the Kings' 22.
"We had some scoring chances, but it wasn't good enough in the end," Rakell said. "If we would've been more effective there, we probably would've won the game."
Tonight was the start of a five-game homestand that sees the Ducks next play Thursday vs. Vancouver at Honda Center. A highly anticipated rematch with the Kings comes November 25 at Staples Center.