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Ducks rally in third period to defeat Kings

by Curtis Zupke /

ANAHEIM -- The Los Angeles Kings have largely defined their success by their ownership of the third period, but for now the Anaheim Ducks can claim superiority.

Corey Perry scored the last of three goals in the third period by Anaheim, which rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat Los Angeles 4-2 at Honda Center on Friday. It was the fifth time this season the Ducks have rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to win, and the second time they've accomplished it against the rival Kings.

"We have a resilient group, and we seem to be focused and determined to win the game tonight, and we were rewarded in the end," center Ryan Kesler said.

"We turned the corner tonight. That's the kind of hockey we need to start playing. Not just against L.A., but against every team. We knew how well they were playing up until this game, and how few goals they were giving up. We were upbeat and we definitely took it to them in the third period."

Kesler started the comeback; Perry finished it when he broke a tie with his 25th goal, a snap shot after Ryan Getzlaf's backhand toss to the slot bounced off Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's glove and slid to an open Perry at 11:21. Perry scored an empty-net goal with 23.6 seconds left to cap the win, the Ducks' third in four games against their rivals this season (3-0-1).

"We want to beat them," Perry said. "They're our crosstown rival. Every night is a close game, either one or two goals … those are going the types of games we'll see in the playoffs."

The Ducks (39-17-7) trailed 2-0 more than four minutes into the third before Kesler and Emerson Etem scored 90 seconds apart to tie the game. Kesler grabbed Jakob Silfverberg's no-look pass and roofed it at 4:37. Etem had Rickard Rakell's pass go off Kings goalie Martin Jones, hit the shaft of his stick and go into the net at 6:07.

Anaheim has outscored its opponents 13-3 in the third period the past five games.

Los Angeles, which lost for the second time in as many nights after winning eight in a row, had been 19-1-3 when leading after two periods. Kings coach Darryl Sutter saw the 60-minute picture.

"I think their forecheck overwhelmed us the whole night, and it caught up to us," Sutter said.

The Kings (29-20-12) took a 2-0 lead when their first shot of the second period, 10:39 in, found the net. Defenseman Brayden McNabb put a wrist shot with Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm defending Kings captain Dustin Brown in the crease, and it went in past Ducks goalie John Gibson.

Los Angeles was outshot 8-0 in the period before the goal. It was McNabb's first since Dec. 26, 2011, and the second of his 92-game NHL career.

The Kings nearly extended the 2-0 lead but Gibson stopped Jeff Carter on a breakaway and Lindholm poke-checked Justin Williams to break up another good a chance.

But even though they were opportunistic, the Kings knew they had to play better.

"There's not a single team that you can sit back and just collect points against and not play the third period," defenseman Matt Greene said. "That's case and point tonight. They're a good team, but you can't do that against anybody. We have to be better than that. We have to continue playing our game, continue getting pucks deep and forecheck teams. That's how we play and that's how we have success grinding teams down."

Brown also cited not having a complete game and said puck luck had little to do with the late collapse.

"The Ducks are a good team," he said. "There's a reason they've won the [Pacific] Division for a couple of years in a row now. Part of it is how we played. The longer the season goes on, the less lucky teams are."

Trevor Lewis scored the only goal of the first period with an excellent individual effort. Lewis drove through Francois Beauchemin's hip check on the boards, went to the net and put a shot past Gibson with Brown creating traffic at 15:02. It was his eighth goal of the season.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera made his Kings debut and was reunited with former Buffalo Sabres partner Robyn Regehr.

Forward Jiri Sekac, acquired from the Montreal Canadiens earlier in the week, had his first point with Anaheim on Etem's goal.

Anaheim has won seven of the past eight regular-season games against Los Angeles.

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