(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The LA Kings reigned supreme in Anaheim last night in a 3-1 victory over the Ducks in Game 2 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Kings drew first blood, with Marian Gaborik scoring just 34 seconds into the first period. Anaheim’s Patrick Maroon answered little over nine minutes later with a wrist shot, beating Quick and tying the game. Kings’ defenseman Alec Martinez delivered a slapshot to see the Kings regain the lead. The Kings maintained their 2-1 position as the first period drew to a close.
The second period was scoreless but held plenty of action for the officials, with three 2-minute penalties for the Ducks and two for the Kings. Both teams failed to deliver on the power play and the period closed off 2-1 in favour of the Kings.
A one goal game going into the third, the period remained mostly scoreless with the Ducks failing to capitalise on a power play after Slava Voynov was called for holding against Ducks’ forward Jakob Silfverberg. The Kings closed out the game in the final minute of the third with a wrist shot from winger Dwight King.
Despite conceding one goal in the first, Kings netminder Jonathan Quick was rock-solid and maintained a .973 save percentage. His efforts won the first star of the game and his stellar performance didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.
“It’s great to see Quickie on top of his game, it’s a confidence boost for all of us,” said Dustin Brown in a post-game interview. “We’re lucky to have Jonathan Quick in our goal. He makes big saves for us at key times and allows us to kind of squeak one out at the end of the day.”
Quick remained humble after the win.
“We’re trying to get ready to win a game in a couple days here. That’s what we’re focused on. They’ve got a great team. We have a lot to prepare for to get ready. What you would do after this game whether you lost or won isn’t going to be any different. You just are doing everything you can to get ready for the next game and try to win that one.”
The Ducks, however, have some thinking to do after the game leaves them in a 2-0 hole.
“That’s not the start that we expect of our group, especially us up front,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf of the Kings’ early goal. “That’s not the way we can start a hockey game. That’s on us. We tried to work and get back at it after that. You can’t sulk on those things. We were able to respond pretty quickly after that.”
Getzlaf spoke of his frustration at the reality the Ducks find themselves in, “I’m ticked off right now. We’re in playoff time right now. There are no excuses for anything. We have to be better, I have to be better, and I expect our group to respond.”
“It’s a tough building to play in, but we’ve won there before,” said Ducks forward Corey Perry after the game, referring to the prospect of heading to the Staples Center down 2-0 in the series. “Hopefully we can go in and play that road game that we want to play. We’ve had success on the road this year and hopefully we can do that.”
The puck drops on Game 3 on Thursday May 8. The Kings, with the 2-0 series lead, will have home ice advantage.