Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 6)

Los Angeles leads 4-1

Game 1: Wednesday, January 7th
Kings4Final
OT
Ducks4
Game 2: Saturday, January 24th
Ducks2Final
Kings4
Game 3: Wednesday, January 28th
Kings4Final
OT
Ducks3
Game 4: Saturday, February 28th
Ducks1Final
Kings2
Game 5: Sunday, February 29th
Kings3Final
Ducks6
Game 6: Sunday, March 14th
Ducks1Final
Kings5

Kings 4

(16-13-4, 43 pts)

Ducks 4

(13-17-5, 37 pts)

10:30 PM ET, January 7, 2004

Honda Center, Anaheim, California

1 2 3 OT T
LA 2 1 1 04
ANA 3 0 1 04

T. Simpson (Ducks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Holmqvist (Ducks - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Norstrom (Kings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Defenseman ties game in final period

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks turned up the offense in their first meeting of the season.

Defenseman Todd Simpson scored the tying goal with 9:06 left to end an 84-game scoring drought, and Michael Holmqvist scored his first two NHL goals to help the Mighty Ducks salvage a 4-4 tie with their Southern California rivals Wednesday night.

"For the most part, we usually have some entertaining games," Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said. "I don't really know why we're scoring this much in our games because both teams have solid goaltending and don't give up a lot of goals. But with the intensity and the atmosphere in these games, guys are going to get excited and things open up a bit.

"Guys are pressing a little harder offensively and not being as responsible defensively. It's a completely entirely different atmosphere than a lot of games we play."

The Ducks played 39 games before getting their first crack at the Kings. The only other season in which Anaheim didn't face them during the first 27 games of a season was 1997-98, when the first meeting was in game No. 47.

"Every time we hook up with them, we know how good a team they are and hard they work. And they're well-coached, so you need to be prepared," Anaheim defenseman Keith Carney said. "We were prepared, we came out and battled hard. But it's going to take everybody in the room playing as hard as we can for each other and doing it consistently, night in and night out."

Sergei Fedorov also scored for the Ducks, who had allowed more than three goals just once in their previous 13 games. Andy McDonald and Vaclav Prospal each had two assists.

Kings forward Sean Avery returned from a one-game disciplinary benching to score a goal and add an assist. Brad Chartrand, Trent Klatt and Alexander Frolov also scored and Luc Robitaille had two assists for the Kings, who got center Ian Laperriere back in the lineup after he missed 19 games because of a concussion.

Avery, who leads the league with 164 penalty minutes, was benched for Saturday's 2-2 tie against Dallas. His actions in an altercation with Phoenix's Mike Sillinger last Wednesday caused the Kings to be short-handed for nine consecutive minutes -- and he exacerbated the situation by making remarks criticizing his team's lack of toughness.

"I certainly didn't want to sit and watch that game," Avery said. "It was disappointing, but it was a situation made by the coaching staff and you have to deal with it and move on to the next game -- which I did tonight. It was just like any other game. I don't think I had to go out there and prove anything."

Simpson, whose previous goal was Dec. 13, 2002, got the equalizer on a rebound after Roman Cechmanek stopped a wraparound attempt by McDonald. The tie extended the Kings' winless streak extend to nine games (0-2-6-1) -- their longest since a 10-game drought from Feb. 10-28, 1996 (0-7-3).

"I don't even want to think about that," Robitaille said. "We made a few mistakes in the first period and it cost us. Then we found a way to come back."

Anaheim scored on three of its first six shots against Cristobal Huet, taking a 3-2 lead at 14:06 of the first on Fedorov's 26th career goal against Los Angeles.

Huet, who surrendered Klatt's goal on the first shot he faced, was replaced after the first intermission by Roman Cechmanek. It was the second time the Kings activated Cechmanek from the injured list and started Huet the same night.

Cechmanek, who missed the previous six games because of a bruised hip, faced only four shots in the second period and 15 altogether.

Game notes


Former Anaheim enforcer Kevin Sawyer, who became an unrestricted free agent this summer after the Ducks gave up his rights, hasn't played in an NHL game since Dec. 19 of last season -- when Kings D Brad Norton decked him with two quick rights to the face and left him with a concussion. Sawyer, 29, is contemplating retirement, according to a Ducks' spokesman. ... The Kings lead the series 23-21-11.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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