Rickard Rakell scored with 19 seconds remaining in overtime and goalie John Gibson stopped 28 shots as the Anaheim Ducks claimed a big two points for their playoff hopes with a 2-1 extra-time victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night in Anaheim.
Rakell netted his team-high 32nd goal of the season when he opted to shoot from the slot — using Kings defenseman Alec Martinez as a screen — and ripped a top-corner offering over the shoulder of goalie Jonathan Quick to the delight of the Honda Center faithful.
With the win, the Ducks have 93 points and jumped back into a Western Conference wild-card playoff position with four games remaining on the schedule. Los Angeles has 94 points and sits third in the Pacific Division standings, although the Ducks have a game in hand.
The finish ended yet another entertaining affair between the Southern California rivals. Anaheim has a 17-4-4 record in the last 25 regular-season meetings.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty opened the scoring at the 6:01 mark of the first period. After Doughty gained the puck at his point position, a huge lane opened up for him because Ducks forwards Ryan Kesler and Andrew Cogliano collided with each other. Doughty worked his way all the way to the low slot before ripping a high shot past Gibson, who was screened by Tanner Pearson.
Kings captain Anze Kopitar’s assist on the goal marked his career-high 90th point on the season. Kopitar has netted 16 points in his last 11 games.
Nick Ritchie finally put a puck past Quick with 3:05 remaining in the second period to tie the game. Ondrej Kase won a puck battle along the end boards before sending a pass to Francois Beauchemin at the point. Beauchemin’s long shot was denied but Ritchie buried the rebound opportunity to net just his ninth goal of the season but third in the last eight games.
Kase ended up with a pair of assists for the Ducks, who reached the 40-win mark for the fifth consecutive season.
It became very tight checking after the second intermission. Quick was the bigger story in the first half, but Gibson came up with clutch saves against Adrian Kempe and Pearson in the final 45 seconds or regulation time.
Quick stopped 31 shots for the Kings.
—Field Level Media