ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks turned
up the offense in their first meeting of the season.
Defenseman Todd Simpson scored the tying goal with 9:06 left to end an
84-game scoring drought, and Michael Holmqvist scored his first two NHL goals
to help the Mighty Ducks salvage a 4-4 tie with their Southern California
rivals Wednesday night.
"For the most part, we usually have some entertaining games," Anaheim
captain Steve Rucchin said. "I don't really know why we're scoring this much
in our games because both teams have solid goaltending and don't give up a lot
of goals. But with the intensity and the atmosphere in these games, guys are
going to get excited and things open up a bit.
"Guys are pressing a little harder offensively and not being as responsible
defensively. It's a completely entirely different atmosphere than a lot of
games we play."
The Ducks played 39 games before getting their first crack at the Kings. The
only other season in which Anaheim didn't face them during the first 27 games
of a season was 1997-98, when the first meeting was in game No. 47.
"Every time we hook up with them, we know how good a team they are and hard
they work. And they're well-coached, so you need to be prepared," Anaheim
defenseman Keith Carney said. "We were prepared, we came out and battled hard.
But it's going to take everybody in the room playing as hard as we can for each
other and doing it consistently, night in and night out."
Sergei Fedorov also scored for the Ducks, who had allowed more than three
goals just once in their previous 13 games. Andy McDonald and Vaclav Prospal
each had two assists.
Kings forward Sean Avery returned from a one-game disciplinary benching to
score a goal and add an assist. Brad Chartrand, Trent Klatt and Alexander
Frolov also scored and Luc Robitaille had two assists for the Kings, who got
center Ian Laperriere back in the lineup after he missed 19 games because of a
Avery, who leads the league with 164 penalty minutes, was benched for
Saturday's 2-2 tie against Dallas. His actions in an altercation with Phoenix's
Mike Sillinger last Wednesday caused the Kings to be short-handed for nine
consecutive minutes -- and he exacerbated the situation by making remarks
criticizing his team's lack of toughness.
"I certainly didn't want to sit and watch that game," Avery said. "It was
disappointing, but it was a situation made by the coaching staff and you have
to deal with it and move on to the next game -- which I did tonight. It was just
like any other game. I don't think I had to go out there and prove anything."
Simpson, whose previous goal was Dec. 13, 2002, got the equalizer on a
rebound after Roman Cechmanek stopped a wraparound attempt by McDonald. The tie
extended the Kings' winless streak extend to nine games (0-2-6-1) -- their
longest since a 10-game drought from Feb. 10-28, 1996 (0-7-3).
"I don't even want to think about that," Robitaille said. "We made a few
mistakes in the first period and it cost us. Then we found a way to come
Anaheim scored on three of its first six shots against Cristobal Huet,
taking a 3-2 lead at 14:06 of the first on Fedorov's 26th career goal against
Huet, who surrendered Klatt's goal on the first shot he faced, was replaced
after the first intermission by Roman Cechmanek. It was the second time the
Kings activated Cechmanek from the injured list and started Huet the same
Cechmanek, who missed the previous six games because of a bruised hip, faced
only four shots in the second period and 15 altogether.