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Sunday, December 26, 2010
Kings/Ducks: Bernier has plenty to work with in 4-1 victory against Ducks

By Dan Arritt

When a hockey team is scoring goals as frequently as the Kings, it doesn’t really matter who’s minding the net.

The Kings jumped on the Ducks for four goals in the second period Sunday evening and cruised to a 4-1 victory before a sellout crowd at Staples Center.

The Kings have scored 28 goals in their last seven games, running their record to 5-2 in that stretch. They moved to fourth in the Western Conference standings.

It was the second time this season that the Kings scored four goals in a single period. The other time was Dec. 18 in a 6-1 victory at Nashville. Those are the only two games Kings back-up goalie Jonathan Bernier has played since Nov. 24.

Bernier stopped 18 shots en route to his second consecutive victory, running his record to 4-5 this season.

Wayne Simmonds scored 15 seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead. Marco Sturm, who was playing in his third game for the Kings since he was acquired from the Boston Bruins, earned his first point for Los Angeles in his first game on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Sturm swiped at a rebound off a shot from Kopitar and sent it back at Ducks goalkeeper Jonas Hiller, who made a second save but couldn’t stop Kopitar’s follow-up shot, giving the Kings a 2-1 lead with 10:50 left in the second period.

Justin Williams then took advantage of a turnover by Joffrey Lupul near the Anaheim blue line and fired a wrist shot passed Hiller for a 3-1 lead with 7:05 remaining. Brown finished off the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:03 remaining for a 4-1 lead, sending Hiller to the bench for the remainder of the game.

Kings defenseman Matt Greene was solid in his return from a five-game absence due to a concussion, registering a team-high five hits

The game was the first of four in five nights, a stretch the club hasn’t experienced since the 1994-95 season. The Kings travel to San Jose for another key Pacific Division game Monday night, then head to Phoenix on Wednesday before returning home to play the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

More to come from the locker room.