The Kings routed the Ducks 6-0 in an exhibition game Tuesday at the Honda Center, taking advantage of a lackluster showing by the hosts. Jeff Carter scored two goals and Matt Frattin, Scott Sabourin, Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar also scored. Jonathan Quick played the first two periods in goal and stopped all 12 shots he faced. Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ first victory of the exhibition season:
1. Frattin could skate with Carter and Mike Richards this season, but he’s going to have to earn the privilege. He’s going to have to play with energy and provide a bit of defensive responsibility. Frattin, a left wing, took a tentative step in the Kings’ split-squad loss Sunday to the Phoenix Coyotes. He then took a giant leap during Tuesday’s rout of the Ducks, scoring the Kings’ first goal and playing an energetic game alongside his more heralded linemates. In addition to his goal, he also had two assists and was a plus-three in 16 minutes, 5 seconds of ice time. It’s a good start for Frattin, who was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Jonathan Bernier deal during the offseason.
2. It’s difficult in exhibition games to judge strengths and weaknesses, and that certainly was the case with the Kings icing a fairly competitive lineup and the Ducks primarily going with inexperienced youngsters. Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he couldn’t judge the game in total, but tried to break it up by watching individuals. He said he liked the play of goaltenders Quick and Mathieu Garon. Quick faced only a handful of shots in 40 minutes. Garon faced a bit more pressure and responded by making 11 saves in the game’s final period. It was a positive development for Garon, who is in training camp on a tryout basis and who gave up five goals in Sunday’s loss to the Coyotes.
3. Carter scored two goals and added an assist on Doughty’s goal. It was vintage Carter, a reminder why he can be so dangerous for a team that sometimes (OK, frequently) struggles to score goals. Carter seemingly touched the puck only a handful of times during the game, but managed to do something productive on each occasion. He swatted home a fat rebound for one third-period goal and then whistled a shot into the back of the net for another, helping to turn the game into a runaway. He has the speed and the hands to turn an innocent play into a legitimate goal-scoring chance. He certainly can make goaltenders look bad, and he showed Tuesday how valuable he can be for the Kings.