On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174 at Honda Center in Anaheim, on the strength of a hat trick from Corey Perry, the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Pacific division rival Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-2.
This was the eighth straight win for the streaking Anaheim Ducks and pulled them to within two points of the Pacific division-leading Los Angeles team. The two teams will meet again, on Saturday, March 5 at STAPLES Center.
From the opening drop of the puck, the game had playoff intensity. There were eight penalties called in the first period, but the chippy play did subside as the teams played with more discipline as the night wore on.
In the end, the Ducks’ ability to capitalize on the power play, was the difference in the game. The Ducks also benefited from a great effort by their star forward Corey Perry who scored a goal in each period, including two while on the power play.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. In the second period, the Kings forged ahead, on a fluke play which occurred when Anaheim defenseman Simon Despres tried to clear the puck while down low in his own zone. Despres had the puck, to the right of his goaltender John Gibson and tried to clear the puck up and around the boards. The puck instead ricocheted off the high glass and bounced down right in front of Gibson. Kings forward Tanner Pearson pounced on the loose puck and scored at 9:52 to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.
As the second period wound down, Perry crashed the Kings net and scored his second power play goal of the game, with just 2:03 remaining. Entering the third period, the game was tied 2-2, with Anaheim holding a slight 20-19 edge in shots on goal.
When the third period began, it did not take long for Perry to complete the hat trick. Much like his first two goals, he drove hard to the net and reaped the rewards. He completed his ninth career three-goal game, just 1:27 into the final session. This proved to be the game-winner.
Perry then assisted on David Perron’s power play goal at 5:53 of the third period, to push the lead to 4-2. There was a bit of controversy just a few minutes later, when it appeared as though the Kings had scored a power play goal. In the wake of the goal which would have pulled the visiting team to within one goal, Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau issued a “coaches challenge”, claiming that the Kings were offside during their initial entry into the offensive zone.
After the on-ice official spent roughly eight minutes conferring with the NHL’s Toronto-based officials, it was determined that the right skate of Kings forward Anze Kopitar, was across the blue line just ahead of the puck. Therefore, the goal was disallowed. It is unknown exactly which angle provided conclusive proof. In the end, the team which played better, won the game.
Coming into the game, Corey Perry had not registered a point in his last four games, but picked the perfect time to break out of his mini-slump. Anaheim will be at home to face the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, March 2 before traveling to Arizona to face the Coyotes on March 3, and then back to southern California to face the Kings on Saturday, March 5.
Game notes – The Ducks have a record of 9-0-1 in the last 10 games, while outscoring opponents 38-21. Team captain Ryan Getzlaf has an 11 game point streak, during which he has five goals, 12 assists and a +8 plus/minus rating. Going into this latest matchup, the Kings had a four-game win streak. This was the fifth straight game in which the Kings scored just two goals.
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. Final score: ANA 4, LAK 2. Final shots on goal: ANA 29, LAK 29. Power play: LAK 1/4, ANA 3/5. Three Stars of the game: 1) Corey Perry – ANA, 2) Sami Vatanen – ANA, 3) Simon Despres – ANA. Goaltenders: ANA – John Gibson, LAK – Jonathan Quick.
Ducks forward line combinations:
Ducks defense pairings: