Willie Mitchell picked a good time to score his second goal of the season.
His long slapshot, off a perfect drop pass from Justin Williams, found its way through a screen at 6:45 of the third period and broke a 2-2 tie at Honda Center. The split crowd of 17,174 voiced its mixed emotions, and the Kings clinched their sixth win in the final game of a 10-game road trip.
Anze Kopitar scored his second goal in his last 16 games, Ryan Smyth scored his 20th goal of the season, and the Kings get to come home (even though they’ve been at home the last three days) to play Minnesota tomorrow night.
The Kings did not spend a second on the power play.
Kyle Clifford got the better of Kyle Chipchura in the game’s only fight. Also probably the only Kings-Ducks fight between two players named Kyle.
The Kings’ 18 shots on goal were a season-low, and they didn’t help that stat by missing the net on 18 occasions. The Ducks blocked 14 shots as a team.
The Ducks put five shots on goal before the Kings got off even one, at the 10:55 mark, by Marco Sturm. Mitchell suggested after the game that the three days off between games might have led to that moment of rust.
The Kings’ forechecking only seemed to get better throughout the game. The Ducks put 12 shots on goal in the first, 9 in the second and 6 in the third. By the time Curtis McElhinney was pulled for an extra attacker in the game’s final minute, the Ducks literally couldn’t get set up in the offensive zone.
Davis Drewiske played a fairly uneventful 15 shifts in his return to the lineup after watching 19 straight games from the press box. Paired with Matt Greene on defense, Drewiske wasn’t on the ice for any of the goals, had four shots blocked and blocked one himself.
Sturm had a quiet game himself in his return to the lineup, but wasn’t bumped from his first-line perch with Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds.