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Ducks Lose Round One To The Kings
By Mario Ramirez
The Ducks face-off with their crosstown Rivals the Kings for the first time in the young season. The visiting Ducks come into the contest with a record of (6-6-3 15 points) fresh off a 3-2 overtime victory against the Columbus Bluejackets. The Kings come in at (4-8-1 9 points) and a new interim head coach Willie Desjardins after letting John Stevens go. Anaheim has enjoyed much success recently in the freeway face off with a 17-4-4 record in the last 25 contests according to Kyle Shohara. After this meeting, the two teams will not see each other again until March 10th at Honda Center.
The 1st period started off slow for both teams, with the first shot on goal coming at 15:47 mark of the period. The Ducks committed the first penalty of the game at 13:53 with Andrew Cogliano going off for high sticking. The Kings wasted little time making the Ducks pay when Dustin Brown scored a power play goal at 13:35 making the score 1-0 Kings. The Ducks got their first power play at 11:38 when Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf went off for a high stick. The Ducks failed to score on the ensuing power play, however, they seemed to gain some momentum. Unfortunately at 6:38 Kyle Clifford scored to put the Kings up 2-0. The Ducks drew another power play at 5:49 when the Kings Alex Iafallo went off for hooking. The Ducks again came up empty on the power play. The period ended at 2-0 with the Kings having the advantage and the Ducks with the 8-7 shots on goal advantage.
The 2nd period saw the Ducks play well and carry the play for some long stretches of game time. However, it was the Kings that struck first in the 2nd when at 15:06 Ilya Kovalchuk put a puck past John Gibson to increase the Kings lead to 3-0. The Ducks showed signs of offensive life when Ryan Kesler scored at the 6:39 mark of the 2nd, bringing the score to 3-1 Kings. The Ducks had the majority of the better play the remainder of the period. The period ended with the score 3-1 Kings and like the first the Ducks with the shot advantage at 21-17.
After scoring in the 2nd period the Ducks looked to take some momentum into the 3rd period. In an evenly played period, the physical play ramped up from both teams. At 15:24 Ducks forward Kiefer Sherwood was rocked by Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin bring the crowd to life. A few minutes later at 12:38 Jakob Silfverberg rocked Dion Phaneuf behind the Kings net. Adam Henrique had a point-blank opportunity but was stopped by Kings goaltender Jack Campbell, keeping the score at 3-1. The Ducks had another opportunity to bring the score closer when Kings Derek Forbort was called for a trip putting the Ducks back on the power play. However, the Ducks failed to score once again on the power play which has been struggling as of late. With the score 3-1, the Ducks pulled John Gibson for the extra attacker at 2:40. The Ducks were unable to gain sustained control of the puck and at 2:06 Tyler Toffoli scored an empty-net goal to salt away the game. Even though the game was not in doubt the physical play continued, Kings forward Adrian Kempe was called for a slash on Adam Henrique. On replay it was shown that Kempe’s slash was actually a cheap shot in-between Henrique’s legs. The game ended with the Kings victorious at 4-1 and the Ducks ahead in shots on goal 31-27.
The Ducks came into this game looking to gain some positive momentum after breaking their 7 game losing streak. However, they were unable to solve Kings goaltender Jack Campbell enough. Campbell stopped 30 of 31 shots the Ducks put on goal. The Ducks looked good in stretches during this contest but also looked sloppy at other times. It seems as the Ducks are thinking too much on the ice instead of just playing the new system they seem to still be trying to figure out. The Ducks physical game is also lacking through the early part of this season. Next up for the Ducks are the Calgary Flames tomorrow night at Honda Center.
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November 6th, 2018