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Ducks edge Kings in Stadium Series preview

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

Unable to maintain their aggressive, in-tune approach that saw them play stellar hockey through the first 20 minutes of tonight’s contest, the Kings faltered in their second meeting of the season against Anaheim tonight at Honda Center.

The Kings, who were thirsty for a turnaround while putting a cap on a road-trip that has beleaguered them, couldn’t find answers against the league’s top club tonight.

Early action hinted that the Kings were ready to turn the page on the rough stretch they’ve been riding, as Anze Kopitar gave the Kings an early lead just 3:13 into the game, slamming home a back-door beauty for his 14th goal of the season.

Kopitar’s early tally was the 187th of his career, and with that goal, he surpassed former Kings right-winger and current FOX SPORTS WEST color commentator Jim Fox for 10th all-time on the franchise-scoring list.

With great possession from Dwight King, and outstanding positioning and awareness from Trevor Lewis, Kopitar was able to easily bury the first goal of the night past Anaheim’s Fredrik Andersson.

The Kings lost their touch, their drive, and their lead in the second period, surrendering two scrum-style goals to Anaheim, while taking three ‘Interference’ infractions.

Former King Dustin Penner knotted the contest 1-1 for Anaheim with 6:09 to play in the second period, knocking home a rebound through heavy traffic on a Ducks power play.

Just over four minutes later, Anaheim’s Patrick Maroon snuck a wrap-around bid past Jonathan Quick to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead with 2:07 remaining in the second period.

A more enlightened effort and performance was seen from the Kings in the third period, but they failed execute when given the chance, unable to chime in on their two power play opportunities.

The Kings went 0-4 on man-advantage opportunities tonight.

They couldn’t find any luck in the third period, albeit firing 10 shots on Anaheim’s Fredrik Andersson.

Jonathan Quick made 19 saves on Anaheim’s 21 shots.

Spirits weren’t too high in the Kings’ dressing room following tonight’s loss at Honda Center, as Anze Kopitar alluded to the struggles this roster is enduring right now. “We have to play better, pressure is on us now to do so. 22 guys in this room have to stick together”.

Now with a 29-17-6 record, which is good for 64 points, the Kings sit at sixth-place in the Western Conference.

The Kings are now 1-1-0 in their two meetings with Anaheim thus far, and will see the Ducks for the third of their five matchups this season Saturday night at Dodger Stadium as part of the NHL’s Coors Light Stadium Series.

Catch a special extended broadcast of KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 5:30 PT Saturday evening, followed with puck – drop at 6:30 PT from Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine.

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