ANAHEIM -- No matter the circumstances, it's always a thrilling night when the Ducks and Kings do battle.
Despite both teams having struggled over the first two months of the season, tonight was the typical barnburner between the two SoCal rivals that was polished off with a 4-2 Ducks victory at Honda Center. Derek Grant had two goals, including a beauty of an empty-netter with 38 seconds left to slam the door. Grant's fourth-line with wingers Carter Rowney and Nicolas Deslauriers accounted for three goals and five points on the night.
"As a team, when you're struggling to score goals, you're going to take them from anywhere," said Grant. "It's something that for our team to be successful, we need all four lines to chip in at different times. We did that tonight. I thought as a group we played well in the third with a lead, and we were able to come out on top."
It was the first time this season the bitter SoCal rivals faced off, but they'll do it again 10 days from now back at Honda Center. It also wasn't the best of conditions for their first clash of the year, as the Kings came into the game in last place in the Pacific Division, while the Ducks were two points ahead in seventh.
Grant made it a 1-0 Ducks lead five minutes into the game when he punched in a rebound off a Deslauriers point shot.
Video: LAK@ANA: Grant buries loose puck in front
A rare Anaheim power-play goal gave the Ducks a 2-0 cushion at the halfway point of the period, a Swede connection between Hampus Lindholm and Jakob Silfverberg, who buried the one-timer from the left wing circle. That gave Silfverberg the team lead in goals alone with 10.
Video: LAK@ANA: Silfverberg one-times PPG from the circle
The Kings sliced the lead in half six minutes into the middle session on a point shot from Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid that eluded screened goalie Ryan Miller, who was given the start tonight when John Gibson came down with an illness.
"We treated it like it's a normal NHL game you want to win," Miller said. "but there's a little something there. There's pride."
Rowney gave Anaheim the two-goal lead back, burying a shot from near the right post after another beautiful cross-ice feed from Lindholm.
Video: LAK@ANA: Rowney finishes nice feed from Lindholm
"Well, they're to be trusted, that's for sure," Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins said, on the club's fourth line. "They just do everything that's asked of them. They play a very, very simple game and I think playing a simple game has a great advantage, and again tonight those guys leading the way was very important to our success."
Later in the period, Nikolai Prokhorkin weaved through the Ducks defense and slid in a backhander to make it a 3-2 game.
That lead held until the final minute, when the Ducks kept the Kings out of their net with help from Miller (34 saves). With Kings goalie Jack Campbell on the bench for an extra attacker, Grant sealed it with a shot from behind the red line that sailed through the air and found the LA net.
Video: LAK@ANA: Grant scores second goal on empty net