The LA Kings celebrated three straight wins with a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on Friday night.
Forward Kevin Fiala led with a three-point night (1-2-3) while five other kings had multi-point games. Striker Viktor Arvidsson scored twice while Blake Lizotte and Anze Kopitar each had a goal and an assist. Defender Drew Doughty and forward Alex Iafallo each contributed two assists in the win.
The guests scored the only goal of the first period and went into the first break 1-0. Stationed in front of the net, Lizotte got a stick on a shot from Iafallo and directed the puck past Anaheim’s netminder John Gibson. Lizotte’s goal was his eighth of the season, with Fiala also providing an assist for the game.
Anaheim equalized just under six minutes into the second half through defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. While striker Brett Leason provided the screen in front of Kings goalkeeper Pheonix Copley, Shattenkirk sent a shot from the right spot that dodged everyone and went to the far post and scored his second goal of the season.
The Kings scored twice in the back half of the middle verse to open a two-goal lead.
First, the second row combined to score in transition when Trevor Moore sent a pass through the slot to Arvidsson for the one-timer, which deflected off an Anaheim stick and led to the 2-1 advantage. The Kings made it 3-1 through forward Adrian Kempe, who scored the bottom corner with man advantage for his eighth goal in four games and eleventh against Anaheim in the last three seasons, most in the NHL.
Near the end of the second half, Copley was given a match penalty for hitting with the blocker, causing his night to end with 16 saves on 17 shots. Goalkeeper Jonathan Quick only came into the game late in the second third.
The Ducks retreated to within a goal early in the third period, scoring after a five-minute lead to reduce the score to 3-2. Stationed in the right circle, Anaheim forward Mason McTavish fired a one-timer past Quick for his 12th goal of the season.
However, LA scored again on the power play to take a 4-2 lead after beating the rest of the five-minute major. Immediately following a faceoff win, Doughty and Fiala combined two quick passes, with Fiala feeding Kopitar for the one-timer in the high slot, which he buried past Gibson for his 17th goal of the season.
However, the hosts came back to a goal as forward Frank Vatrano scored his 14th goal of the season to put the Ducks 4-3. After Quick made two saves at the top of his goal area, Vatrano collected the second rebound and shot it into the net for goal.
The Kings finished the game with a third power play goal as well as an empty goal, winning the game 6-3 in the finals. First, Arvidsson collected his second goal of the game when he moved from the bottom of the left circle and fired the top blocker at Gibson for his 16th goal of the season. Fiala then ended the game with an empty goal when Iafallo unselfishly passed the shot to supply Fiala for the goal just inside the offensive blue line. Fiala got a three-point night with the balance sheet.
Hear from Lizotte, Arvidsson, Doughty and head coach Todd McLellan after today’s game.
The away win extends the winning streak to three games
I think we started well. The first period was good, with good intensity and we spent a lot of time in her zone. In the second we went a little bit off and then if we start the third with a five minute kill you can get out of rhythm but I think we managed to pull through and get the win.
On his power play goal late in the third period to seal the game
The first time, [earlier in the game] I tried to pass him and Gibson put his blocker there and blocked the pass, so I figured he would do the same thing again. So I took it to the net and tried to go short side high and I managed to smack it in.
On two power plays that just score
Oh it’s always good, it’s competitive, I think we have competitive players in both units. Obviously things are going well and everyone scores.
To the win and the overall performance
It’s a big win. We didn’t like our overall performance, we thought the second third was a bit sloppy. When you overplay a team that much in the first half you tend to slow down a bit and we have to change that. We have to be able to play a full 60 minutes.
On the improvements of the power game and its unit specifically
The power play is much better this year, we have a much better plan. Obviously we added Kevin who is basically a power play specialist. I’m very happy with how the powerplay is developing, really happy.
To the support of Kings fans out and about tonight
Yes, it seemed more like a home game than an away one, to be honest. When we scored it looked like three quarters of the barn was standing. Big support from our fans tonight. It felt really good.
On three consecutive wins from the All-Star Break
I thought it was a difficult game, a difficult game to win. It was hard fought, we had to be patient, penalties, special team situations, losing a starting goalkeeper, a lot of variables went into the night but I was happy with the special teams and of course it was important to find a way to end the night finish for us
Balancing the emotions between fighting for the goalkeeper and reassuring for victory
At this time of year, winning is the most important thing, but we want to take care of our team-mates. I’m sure the Ducks team would like to do the same, but right now it’s all about winning. I thought we had pretty good control of our emotions in this situation. We had the opportunity to regroup, it gave Quickie a chance to get his head ready for the third period. The penalty did a pretty good job, I know we got hit once, but they did a really good job in that situation.
To the fire shown by Phoenix Copley late in the second period
He’s competitive. It was one of the first things we found out about him when training camp started, every team has their testing regiment they go through and he wouldn’t be denied. He carried the goalkeeper association, so to speak, and you could see right away that he was really competitive. In practice he is competitive, even in drills or situations that don’t necessarily mean much to the goalkeeper, he’s always there and wants to save. Just a competitive person.
Onto Jonathan Quick coming in and doing the job to get the win
There’s probably nobody we’d rather put in that situation, a guy who’s played as many games as he has, he’s played big nights in this building many, many times. He walked in unexpectedly and did a really, really good job. I think he was the winning goalkeeper tonight which is great, we needed that for him, he needed that for him. When coaches compliment both goalkeepers, it usually doesn’t happen.
On the return of Gabe Vilardi and beating him on the fourth row
I think it says a lot about the organization and how they’ve built it over the years. We’ve got a lot of competition up front, we’ve kept telling the players that. Gabe and Arthur, one has 17 and the other has 10 goals and if you want to call that our fourth line, that’s where they play, but they both play significant and key roles in the power play and that power play got three goals tonight so they got that jobs down there. They’re both coming back from injury so they need to find their games a bit, so does Trevor Moore but at the end of the day depth should help us.
– Adrian Kempe extended his scoring streak in game four (8-1-9) to match his career high (4 games: Nov 3-9 2021, 4-0-4). Kempe is 28th as the league leader this season and has scored nine goals (9-1-10) in his last six games. The goal also continues Kempe’s seven-game (5-5-10) scoring streak against the Anaheim Ducks since May 1, 2021.
– The last Kings player to score eight goals in four games was Luc Robitaille in 1992-93. Bernie Nicholls’ nine goals from November 17–23, 1988 is the highest total by a Kings player in four games played.
-Kevin Fiala (1-2-3) recorded his 17th multi-point game this season, his seventh game with three or more points to take his team-leading total to 57 (18-39-57). He now has 11 points (3-8-11) in his last eight games.
– Blake Lizotte (1-1-2) registered his 25th and 26th points (8-18-26) of the year, setting new career highs in a season for points (26) and assists (18) in a season .
– Anze Kopitar (1-1-2) collected his 14th multi-point attempt and has eight points (2-6-8) in his last four games. Kopitar’s two-point night gives him 83 career points (29-54-83) against the Ducks to tie with Mike Modano (28-55-83) for the most career points against Anaheim in league history.
– Drew Doughty (0-2-2) had two assists for his 41st career point (8-33-41) against Anaheim and surpassed Rob Blake (14-26-40) for sole possession of the Ducks’ fourth-most all-time in the NHL history.
– Viktor Arvidsson (2-0-2) scored five points (3-2-5) in his last two games in his second multi-goal game of the season.
– Jonathan Quick celebrated his ninth win of the season with seven saves, his first win since December 1.
– The Kings’ win earned their fifth straight win against the Ducks (5-0-0) on February 25, 2022. According to NHL PR, the Kings’ current five-game streak equates to their longest head-to-head regular-season series win against Anaheim (5-0-0, Jan. 8, 2009 – Feb. 4, 2010).
The Kings will currently be skating tomorrow morning at 10:30am at the Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo.