Ducks try to square series with Kings on TSN

The Sports Network
5/10/2014 5:47:38 PM
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LOS ANGELES - The Anaheim Ducks were able to slow down the red-hot Los Angeles Kings to pick up a win in Game 3 of the Western Conference second round. They hope to repeat that success with rookie John Gibson in goal and even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece when the clubs battle tonight in Game 4 at Los Angeles.

You can see all the action on TSN beginning at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt.

The Ducks said before the game that the 20-year-old Gibson would start ahead of Jonas Hiller. A second-round draft pick in 2011, he made his NHL debut late in the 2013-14 regular season and was 3-0 with a 1.33 goals against average in three outings for the Ducks.

The Kings had won six in a row before dropping Thursday's home tilt at the Staples Center. Ben Lovejoy's late third-period goal proved to be the difference as Anaheim beat the Kings 3-2 Thursday night in the City of Angels.

It was the first loss for L.A. since it dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the visiting San Jose Sharks on April 22. That setback put the Kings down 3-0 in their opening-round series with the Sharks, but L.A. rallied to post four straight wins to become only the fourth team in NHL history to win a best-of- seven series after losing the first three meetings.

The Ducks lost the opening two games of the conference semis on home ice before breaking through with Thursday's road victory.

In addition to Lovejoy's goal, which made it 3-1 with 2:55 left in the third period, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne also scored power-play goals for Anaheim.

The Ducks won the tilt despite an injury to goaltender Frederik Andersen, who left the game midway through the third period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Hiller made seven saves in the final 9:58 to complete the win for Anaheim.

"He was playing well and he's a guy that you can tell if he's playing well early, the glove hand seems a lot sharper and he's a lot more concerned and he's good with it. So I thought he played good," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said about Andersen, who stopped 22 shots.

Andersen, a rookie, started all six games in the Ducks' first-round win over the Dallas Stars before Hiller started the first two games against the Kings in Anaheim. Hiller expects to get the call tonight, but Anaheim has not ruled out Andersen for the Game 4 clash.

Unfortunately for Anaheim, Andersen wasn't the only Ducks player hurt in Game 3, as forwards Matt Beleskey and Mathieu Perreault also suffered lower-body injuries in the win. If Beleskey and Perreault are forced to miss Game 4, Boudreau will likely choose their replacements from a group consisting of Emerson Etem, Tim Jackman, Rickard Rakell or Daniel Winnik.

Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored for Los Angeles on Thursday, while Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots in defeat. Richards scored with 30.8 seconds left in regulation, but the Kings were unable to get another shot past Hiller to tie the game.

"The Ducks played harder than us tonight, they executed better," Richards said. "They were a desperate team and they showed up. We know what it's like to be in that position, and if the other team is more desperate than we are, they are probably going to have more success."

After Thursday's meeting, the Kings fell to 2-2 as the home team this postseason while Anaheim improved to 2-2 on the road. The home team is 0-3 so far in this "Freeway Series," the first-ever playoff encounter between these Southern California rivals.

"So far that hasn't meant anything, I hope it continues for at least one more game," Boudreau said of home ice.

Kings forward Anze Kopitar picked up an assist on Carter's goal and now has points in all 10 games this postseason, totaling four goals and 11 assists. The last King to have points in 10 straight games in one postseason was Wayne Gretzky, who had a franchise-record 12-game point streak in 1993.

If the Kings can rebound with a win on Saturday, they will have a chance to close the series Monday in Anaheim. L.A., which won its first Stanley Cup title in 2012, is attempting to make the conference finals for a third straight spring.

Jeff Carter scores on John Gibson (Photo: Canadian Press)


(Photo: Canadian Press)
Game Notes
ANA 4-0-0 in LA this season (reg+post)
home team has won all 4 games
both teams perfect on PP in game 3, ANA 2/2, LAK 1/1
Series PP: ANA 3/10, LAK 2/8
LAK (Lead series 2-1):
lost 4 straight game 4's when leading a series 2-1
best home PP in playoffs 5/14
5-1 when scoring first
3.40 GF/G best in playoffs
Kopitar (4G, 11A) has a PT in all 10 games in playoffs
won 2 straight on road, 3/6 on PP
8/20 on PP last 5 games
12 1st pd goals, most in playoffs (26 total goals)
Getzlaf (4A) has a PT in 3 straight games, his birthday today
Maroon (2G, 4A) 6 game PT streak
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