Friday, April 8, 2011
Kings-Ducks: Brown gives L.A. an early lead
By Dan Arritt
After the 1st period:
Kings 1, Ducks 0
The good: The Kings grabbed a 1-0 lead with 8:38 left in the period. Dustin Brown sent a shot at Ducks goalie Dan Ellis from the slot. Ellis, who is starting in place of Jonas Hiller (vertigo symptoms) and Ray Emery (lower-body injury) made the save but couldn’t locate the puck in the crease. Ryan Smyth saw it first and tapped it in for his 22nd goal of the season. In his last game in Anaheim, Smyth also scored the first goal at nearly the same point of first period. The Kings went on to win, 3-2. Just before the goal, the Kings had killed just their third power play in the last four games. The Ducks did not have a shot on goal until getting four on the power play. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made seven saves in all during the period.
The bad: Whose bright idea was it to have opening day for the Angels on one side of the 57 Freeway and the biggest Kings-Ducks game in the history of the rivalry on the other? Honda Center was only about two-thirds full at the drop of the puck. Still, somebody in the crowd found time to bring their laser pointer and aim it at the ice, drawing a stern warming from the public-address announcer.
The in between: This game is just one period old but the Kings and Ducks have already dropped in the standings. The Chicago Blackhawks beat Detroit, 4-2, earlier tonight to drop the Ducks from seventh to eighth. The Nashville Predators knocked off the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1, to drop the Kings from fourth to fifth. The winner of this game will regain their position, however. More alarming for Ducks fans is Dallas is winning after two periods, 2-1, at Colorado. If the Stars can hold on to win, they’ll have 95 points, the same as Anaheim. The Ducks would retain eighth place based on the NHL tiebreaker, however.