Quick's strong shootout leads Kings past Ducks 2-1
LOS ANGELES—Jonathan Quick made 23 saves before stopping six of Anaheim's seven shootout attempts, and Justin Williams scored the winning goal in the seventh round in the Los Angeles Kings' 2-1 victory over the slumping Ducks on Wednesday night in the season's first Freeway Faceoff.
Mike Richards scored during a two-man advantage in the second period for the Kings, but Quick lost his bid for his 18th NHL shutout when Teemu Selanne tied it on a power-play goal with 3:25 left in regulation.
Jonas Hiller made 36 saves while singlehandedly keeping it close for the Ducks, who have lost 11 of 13.
Jarret Stoll scored the first shootout goal in the third round, but captain Ryan Getzlaf answered for the Ducks. After three more scoreless rounds, Williams put a quick wrist shot over Hiller's glove, and Quick stopped Kurtis Foster.
Richards scored his fifth goal of the season in the first of back-to-back games in the annual six-game Freeway Faceoff. The rivals will meet Thursday night in Anaheim.
Quick fell just shy of his fourth shutout in 15 games this season after Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler drew a tripping penalty on Williams. Selanne fired a shot from the right circle right at Corey Perry's screen. The Finnish Flash got credit for his 643rd career goal, although the NHL MVP might have redirected it past Quick.
This season appeared to be a perfect time to heat up this long-lukewarm rivalry between clubs separated by about 30 miles of the I-5 freeway. Both teams made the playoffs in the same season last spring for the time since the Ducks joined the league in 1993, with Anaheim roaring past Los Angeles to the No. 4 seed by sweeping a similar back-to-back Freeway Faceoff to end the regular season.
Both teams have more than enough talent to be contenders again -- yet both clubs have struggled during the first six weeks of the regular season after lengthy European tours. Anaheim plummeted to 13th place in the Western Conference with just two wins in its previous 12 games despite a lineup loaded with topflight scoring talent. Los Angeles has scuffled at .500 for most of a season that included a five-game skid.
Los Angeles took a season-high 17 shots in the first period, but the Ducks' Swiss goalie turned them away. The Kings didn't score until their 26th shot, with Richards putting home a rebound midway through the second period. The former Philadelphia captain is finally heating up on the West Coast with three goals in four games after managing two in his first 14.
The Ducks thought they had tied it early in the third when the puck ended up behind Quick on a rush by Getzlaf, but video review confirmed Getzlaf had slyly batted a rebound past Quick with his open hand. Veteran forward Jean-Francois Jacques nearly scored in his Ducks debut with 10 1/2 minutes to play, but couldn't put a rebound into a fairly open net.
NOTES: New Ducks F Niklas Hagman attended the game, but hasn't been cleared to play while working on getting an American work visa. Anaheim claimed the Finnish Olympian off waivers from Calgary last week. ... Los Angeles also shuffled its roster since its previous game, putting struggling power forward Dustin Penner and defenseman Alec Martinez on the injured list and recalling young Russians Andrei Loktionov and Slava Voynov. ... Before the game, Anaheim reassigned C Nick Bonino to its AHL affiliate in Syracuse. Bonino played just one game with a minus-2 rating in his latest call-up. ... Kings D Jack Johnson played in his 300th NHL game. Seven of his nine points this season came on the power play.