Saturday, March 19, 2011
Kings/Ducks: McMillan, Anaheim take lead
By Dan Arritt
After the 1st period:
Ducks 1, Kings 0
The good: A much more entertaining period than the opener Thursday against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center, when the Kings were outshot, 13-2. The Kings had a number of good scoring chances, led by Brad Richardson's takeaway in the Anaheim zone that led to a point-blank shot off the chest of Ducks goalie Ray Emery. If Richardson were a little more skilled, he probably would have buried that shot top drawer. After booing the Kings off the ice against the Blues, there was nary a boo bird heading into the latest intermission.
The bad: Despite the action-packed period, the Kings managed only eight shots on net. They were on the power play for 2:42 of the period but did not get a shot on goal in that time. The Ducks took a 1-0 lead with 4:36 remaining after Brandon McMillan won a neutral-zone face off against Trevor Lewis. The puck came back to Dan Sexton, who flicked a lob pass ahead to McMillan who was striding toward the Los Angeles goal. Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was in position to retrieve the puck, but appeared to lose track of it while in flight. The puck landed just inside the blue line and didn’t slide, instead sticking like it was hit with a nine-iron. That left Johnson further out of position and McMillan scooped it in, skated around Johnson and beat goalkeeper Jonathan Quick with Anaheim’s seventh shot on goal. The Kings have been shut out four consecutive periods.
The in between: Emery, who made his first start in goal in more than a year Wednesday in a 2-1 victory against St. Louis, is starting his second consecutive game. The Ducks play again Sunday afternoon against visiting Calgary, so it’s safe to say Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is saving Dan Ellis for that match up. The Kings can only hope Emery starts showing some rust.