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Kings Big Second Period Downs Ducks

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The last time we saw the Anaheim Ducks at the STAPLES Center, it was the preseason and they had their bills handed to them losing to the Kings 8-3. It seemed that the Ducks had their blue line issues worked out - after all they bodied up on the Kings down low during the first period preventing the Kings from getting to rebounds. In a scoreless first period the Kings barely outshot the Ducks 9-8 with both teams recording ten hits while the Kings gave the puck away six times to the Ducks none.

It really did look like the Kings would have a fight on their hands, much like their first matchup on Nov. 29 at the Honda Ponda which was a 2-0 shutout in favor of the Ducks.

“That first period wasn’t the sharpest,” Anze Kopitar admitted.

But something must have been said in the first intermission because suddenly the Kings were winning all of the battles down low. Case in point after winning the opening faceoff of the second period, Michal Handzus knuckled a pass from the right circle to the front of the net. A Cam Fowler deflection got the puck to land right in front of Wayne Simmonds standing at the left of the crease who eased the puck past Jonas Hiller 15 seconds in the period.

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However things seemed like they would fall apart 32 seconds later when the Ducks seeming unfazed by the goal got a loose puck in the neutral zone in front of their bench allowing Toni Lydman’s shot from the blue line to deflect off of Matt Beleskey’s stick and into the net to tie the game.

“It’s one of those plays that is a little frustrating,” Kings head coach Terry Murray said about the quick score. “We’ve been talking about it a lot, and everyone’s aware of the issue.”