Ondrej Kase had a career night with two goals and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks hung on for a 4-2 victory over the rival Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Ducks goalie John Gibson made 23 saves to collect the victory at the Staples Center, though his team nearly blew a three-goal lead. In a game that featured three fights in the first 2 1/2 minutes of play, the real heavyweight was Kase, the 22-year-old who was drafted in the seventh round in 2014.
Kase opened the scoring 6:14 into the affair when his sharp-angled shot slipped through the legs of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. It was Anaheim’s first shot on net.
Ryan Kesler doubled the lead with a power-play goal at 18:50 in the opening frame, giving the Ducks two goals on five shots against the usually top-notch Kings netminder.
Kase added his second of the night at 2:10 of the third period thanks to another miscue by the goalie. Quick went behind his net to play the puck, but Nick Ritchie stole it and set up Kase, who made no mistake banging it home into the yawning cage to make it a 3-0 edge.
However, just as everyone witnessed in the first few minutes, the Kings refused to go down without swinging.
Nick Shore breathed life into the hosts when he put them on the board at 8:32 of the third period, and then Anze Kopitar made it a one-goal game with just 6:14 remaining. Kopitar collected his 18th goal of the season.
However, Corey Perry’s empty-net goal with 28 seconds remaining sealed the deal for Anaheim, which has claimed five consecutive Pacific Division titles but needs a winning streak to get back in the playoff picture.
Quick stopped 18 shots for the Kings, who remain second in the Pacific Division but have now dropped three consecutive games.
—Field Level Media