Sunday, September 25, 2011
Kings/Ducks: 6 Qs from Sunday's game
By Dan Arritt
The Kings' Dustin Brown, left, skates with the puck against the Ducks' Devante Smith-Pelly during Sunday night's exhibition game.
The who, what, when, where, which, and hows of the Kings' exhibition game Sunday night against the visiting Ducks at Staples Center.
Ducks 3, Kings 1
Who scored the goals? Kyle Palmieri gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead early in the second period when he redirected a centering pass from Maxime Macenauer. Anaheim later scored two goals 11 seconds apart late in the second to take the air out of Staples Center. Andrew Gordon collected his own rebound and back-handed the puck past Jonathan Quick, then Patrick Maroon carried the puck from behind the net and beat Quick top shelf for a 3-0 lead. Kings rookie Andrei Loktionov broke the shutout by scoring on a breakaway with 14:17 left. The play was set up by a nice lead pass from Jarret Stoll and Loktionov went five-hole on Ducks goalie Jeff Deslauriers.
How did the teams compare? The Kings suited up all their top players with the exception of defensemen Jack Johnson and Rob Scuderi. The Ducks, meanwhile, held out their best players and let the young guns show what they could do. Perhaps that explains why the Kings didn’t seem too excited to be out there. Kings defenseman Matt Greene said it’s the players' responsibility to get up for their opponents and they didn’t do a good job of that against the Ducks.
What stood out the most? Unfortunately for the Kings, they lost their No. 1 tough guy, Kevin Westgarth, who was dropped by a hard right from Brian McGrattan early in the second period. Westgarth had to be helped off the ice and did not return. He was seen in the hallway of the Kings dressing room after the game, sporting a nice gash on his cheek. Kings coach Terry Murray said Westgarth would be re-evaluated Monday.
Where do the Kings need sharpen up their game? The Kings took a step back on their power play against the Ducks. They had 8 minutes 26 seconds of power-play time and couldn’t capitalize on their chances. In fact, the Kings didn’t even record a shot on goal during two power plays. Murray said after the game he liked the movement, but some of the players, particularly on the blue line, are trying to be too perfect with their shot attempts.
Which rookies were most impressive? Loktionov continues to make a bid to win the fourth-line center role. His main competition for the job, Trevor Lewis, did not dress for the game. With five exhibition games in the next seven days, Murray said he has plenty of time to make a decision on whether to keep Loktionov on the roster, or ship him back to the AHL for more seasoning.
When do these teams play again? The Kings head to Kansas City following practice Monday and will play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday at Sprint Center. The Ducks host Vancouver on Wednesday at Honda Center.