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Kings escape Anaheim with 3-2 win over Ducks

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

ANAHEIM – The Kings escaped with a victory Sunday evening in the second game of a back-to-back set, seeing their cross-town rivals for the first time this season, beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 at Honda Center.

Coming off of a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the Kings were faced with an Anaheim team hungry to take the points on the board Sunday night, the Ducks sitting 12 points behind Los Angeles and three points out of a playoff spot.

After a scoreless first period, the Kings began the second on a power play, where they capitalized, scoring on the Ducks’ top-ranked penalty kill unit. Coming into the night, Anaheim had killed off an NHL-best 89.4% of their PK’s.

Upon winning an offensive zone faceoff, Vincent Lecavalier positioned himself in front of Anaheim’s net. Jeff Carter, after receiving a pass from Alec Martinez, fed Lecavalier, who upon controlling the puck, spun and beat John Gibson with a shot through the five-hole.

For Lecavalier, it was his second goal in as many games.

The Ducks, though, tied the game 33 seconds later when Rickard Rakell deflected a shot past Jonathan Quick.

With just under five minutes to play in the middle frame, and with the Kings buzzing in Anaheim’s zone, Tyler Toffoli buried a greasy goal to give the Kings a 2-1 lead. Toffoli circled from behind the Ducks’ net as the puck bounced in Anaheim’s slot, and fired a shot that ricochet off of Sami Vatanen and into the net.

Jake Muzzin, with the secondary assist on Toffoli’s marker, extended his point streak to seven games, the longest by a Kings defenseman since Lubomir Visnovsky’s nine-game streak in December of 2005.

A couple minutes after Toffoli regained the Kings’ lead, Anze Kopitar padded it, scoring his 13th goal of the season with 2:20 to play in the second. Brayden McNabb, after receiving a pass from Milan Lucic fired a wrist-shot from the point through traffic which Kopitar deflected through John Gibson’s five-hole.

In the third, David Perron got the Ducks back to within a goal with 14 minutes left in regulation.

With just over 10 minutes left in the third, Andrew Cogliano had a goal waived-off due to what the referees deemed a distinct kicking motion when the puck went into the net off of his skate.

For the Kings, Sunday night was their first regular season victory in Anaheim since December 3, 2013, and their first one in regulation time since March 16, 2012.

Anze Kopitar (1G, 1A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Vincent Lecavalier in shots taken (4), Jake Muzzin in hits delivered (5), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:18). Jonathan Quick made 30 saves in the win.

The Kings will return home to begin a two-game home stand Tuesday night when they host the Dallas Stars at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30PM PST.





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