Key play: Kris Versteeg tapped in a rebound of his own shot off the crossbar for the tiebreaking goal 2:01 into the second period and the Kings regained first place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 victory Thursday over the Ducks at Staples Center.
Playoff update: The Kings can win their first division championship since 1990-91 with a victory Saturday over the Winnipeg Jets in their regular-season finale. The Ducks would then finish second. The San Jose Sharks’ 5-4 loss to Winnipeg locked them into third.
Pivotal performer: Ducks goaltender John Gibson made several quality saves, but none better than a stop with his left leg on an unmarked Anze Kopitar early in the third period. Kopitar slipped behind the Ducks’ defense, but couldn’t beat Gibson from point-blank range.
Between the pipes: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made his 67th appearance of the season and set a franchise record with his 40th victory of 2015-16. Gibson started for the sixth consecutive game in place of the injured Frederik Andersen (concussion).
Quote, unquote: “We want to win without having to score four or five goals,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “We want to win games only letting in one and we were able to do that tonight against a really good team that has kind of owned us this season. … That’s the only reason we beat them, because we played good defense.”
Kings injury update: Defenseman Alec Martinez sat out for the third game because of what the Kings referred to as an undisclosed injury. Martinez also didn’t play in a loss Monday to the Vancouver Canucks and a victory Tuesday over the Calgary Flames.
Ducks injury update: Andersen didn’t play for the fourth game because of a concussion suffered in a victory March 30 over the Calgary Flames. Andersen said he hopes to play in one of the Ducks’ final two regular-season games.