EditorsNote: Adds new last graf to include goalies’ save totals
A fast start provided all the cushion the visiting Los Angeles Kings needed Sunday as they ended a three-game losing streak and won the battle of Southern California with a 3-2 victory over the host Anaheim Ducks.
Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford and Carl Grundstrom all scored in the first period as the Kings won just the second matchup of the season with their area rivals. The teams still have two more meetings on the schedule over the final four weeks of the season.
Daniel Sprong and Jakob Silfverberg scored goals for the Ducks, who saw their recent offensive outburst neutralized by the Kings. The Ducks entered with 12 goals in their previous two games but won just one of those contests.
It was the 19th time in the last 27 meetings the teams played a game decided by one goal.
The Kings improved to 2-0 against the Ducks on the season, scoring seven combined goals in those games. Los Angeles had a 10-2 shots-on-goal advantage after one period on Sunday and 25-20 in the game.
The Ducks entered having won three of their past four games, including an 8-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. The three victories all came against teams pushing to get into playoff contention and included victories over the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes, in addition to the Canadiens.
The only defeat in that stretch came in heartbreaking fashion to the St. Louis Blues, who are in third place in the Central Division. The Blues scored twice in the final 1 minute, 4 seconds to win it.
Yet the Ducks could not overcome a Kings team that had won just once in their past 14 games.
Brown gave the Kings a 1-0 lead with his 17th of the season on a shot from the high slot that beat goaltender Ryan Miller. After Sprong’s goal tied the score a minute later, Clifford made it 2-1 with his eighth of the season when he moved in from the neutral zone and beat Miller from the low slot.
Grundstrom made it 3-1 at 16:25 of the first period when he moved across the slot and beat an off-balance Miller. It was Grundstrom’s second goal in two career games after he scored at Arizona on Saturday.
Grundstrom became just the second Kings player to score in his first two career games. Brian Boyle also did it in February of 2008.
Jonathan Quick made 18 saves in goal for the Kings, while Miller stopped 22 shots for the Ducks.
—Field Level Media