Final at Staples Center: Kings 4, Ducks 1
The Kings on Sunday picked up where they left off before the Christmas break. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they did the same.
Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist, Marco Sturm earned his first point as a King in his third game, and Jonathan Bernier stopped 18 shots to lead the Kings to a 4-1 victory before an announced standing-room-only crowd of 18,313 at Staples Center.
It was the fourth triumph in five games for the Kings (21-12-1) and fourth loss in five games for the Ducks (18-17-4).
All the scoring came during the second period.
The Kings struck first, 15 seconds in. Matt Greene took a shot from the right point that ended up in a crowd and was deflected by Kyle Clifford. Michal Handzus swatted at it but it went off the stick of Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler and to the left side of the slot. Wayne Simmonds was stationed there for the short shot and his eighth goal this season, although its only his first at home.
That lead didn’t last long. Ryan Getzlaf controlled the puck along the boards in the Kings’ zone and passed it to the blue line for Toni Lydman, whose long shot was deflected by Matt Beleskey at the 47-second mark.
A classic counterattack enabled the Kings to regain the lead at 9:10 of the second period. The Ducks had been putting some pressure on Bernier but Brown controlled the puck in his own zone and made a long lead pass to Anze Kopitar. Jonas Hiller stopped the first shot but the rebound went to the left side, where Sturm pounced on it. Hiller stopped that, too, but Kopitar potted the rebound to extend his team-leading goal total to 15.
A giveaway by the Ducks in their own zone created an opportunity for Justin Williams to score the Kings’ third goal, at 12:55. Joffrey Lupul had the puck in his feet but couldn’t play it cleanly, giving Williams the chance to steal it and walk in on Hiller until he was about 20 feet out and lift a wrist shot.
Good puck movement on the power play generated the Kings’ fourth goal, at 17:57 of the second period, the last shot Hiller saw before he was yanked and replaced by Curtis McElhinney. Jack Johnson, playing the left point, passed to Drew Doughty, who shot through a crowd. The puck came out to the slot, where Brown rifled it home for his 14th goal this season.
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Photo: The Kings' Wayne Simmonds ends up on top of the Ducks' Corey Perry after the two squared off during the third period Sunday at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times