NHL Game Summary - Los Angeles at Anaheim
(Friday, October 6th)
Final Score: Anaheim 4, Los Angeles 3
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 41 shots and Chris Kunitz had a goal and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, in the season opener for both teams at the Honda Center.
Ryan Getzlaf, Andy McDonald and Corey Perry all scored goals for the Ducks, who are just 4-9 in season openers.
The Ducks made a big trade in the offseason as they acquired former Hart and Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger. Pronger's addition did cost the club young goal producer Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Ladislav Smid and a few high draft picks. Plus, his salary didn't leave much room for other moves, keeping other additions to a minimum.
But the Ducks, now under second-year coach Randy Carlyle, bring back an offensive spearhead in Teemu Selanne, plus a boat full of young talent that will only get better.
Anze Kopitar scored his first two NHL goals and Lubomir Visnovsky added a goal for the Kings, who are now 16-14-9 in season openers. Dan Cloutier stopped 28 shots.
Los Angeles has missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. In April former Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi took over the duties and hired Marc Crawford to man his bench. On draft day, he pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Pavol Demitra to Minnesota for prospect Patrick O'Sullivan.
Lombardi also obtained goaltender Dan Cloutier from the Canucks, inked Rob Blake and brought in both Scott Thornton and Alyn McCauley, both of whom were with him in San Jose.
The game was tied heading into the third, but the Ducks scored two goals separated by 2:15 to grab a 4-2 lead.
Sean O'Donnell kept the puck in at the left point and fired a shot on net that was blocked by a Kings defender. Getzlaf, though, picked up the puck and fired it past the glove of Cloutier for a 3-2 lead.
While on the power play, Selanne had the puck at the right circle and fired a pass to Scott Niedermayer in the slot. Niedermayer immediately flicked a pass to the low right side where Kunitz one-timed it past Cloutier.
The Kings got to within 4-3 as, on the power play, Visnovsky's slap shot in the slot went through a screen and by Giguere with 5:07 to play.
Anaheim, though, held on for the win.
The Kings peppered Giguere with 22 shots in the first period, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the opening 20 minutes.
"I was really happy with the way I came out," said Giguere. "I wanted to be solid. We needed to have a better start, but we picked it up in the third period. That was a big win."
The Ducks got on the scoreboard less than five minutes into the second as Perry was charging to the net from the left side and Blake tapped the puck into the net as he tried to clear it.
The Kings, though, scored the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead.
Dustin Brown fed an outlet pass to Kopitar and the center held off an Anaheim defender, cut across the middle and from down low on the left side snapped a wrister into the right corner of the net for his first NHL goal 9:14 into the second.
He didn't have to wait long for his second goal as he brought the puck into the Anaheim zone along the left boards and threw a pass into the center that Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin deflected into his own net with 8:34 left in the second.
Anaheim, though, tied the game a little over two minutes later on a pretty play. Kunitz kept the puck in the LA zone at the left point and fired a pass to Selanne at the low left circle. Selanne skated the puck a stride closer and snapped a pass to the right side of the net to McDonald, who one-timed it into the open net.
Anaheim will visit Phoenix on Saturday...The Kings have lost their last three season openers...The Kings will host St. Louis on Saturday...Anaheim went 5-3 against LA last season, including a 3-1 mark at home...Anaheim went 1-for-5 on the power play...The Kings scored once on their seven man advantages.
10/07 01:23:31 ET