The Kings returned to their home arena to host their division rival the Anaheim Ducks. It was their first home game since December 10 but most importantly their first game under the new headcoach – Darryl Sutter. Prior the puck drop it was known that the Kings players are ready and excited for a fresh start. And it somewhat showed in their game. They had a good puck possession, better o-zone entrances and more of the shots could be labeled as “quality” (rather than just shots from the point, without a screen or a chance on deflection). They killed off two Ducks power plays in the first period and despite not scoring themselves (primarily thanks to great perfomance from Jonas Hiller) they were on to a good start. Though, it was the Ducks who opened the scoring. At 13:55 Niklas Hagman made it 1-0 Ducks. Fortunately, not even 3 minutes later the Kings tied the score. Mike Richards (who returned from a head injury after missing 8 games) won the face off to Hiller’s right. Richards got the puck to Doughty who fired it at the net, then it was Richards again who deflected it, not giving Hiller a chance. Tied game. In the second period the Kings were given their share of power play opportunities, they didn’t capitalize on any though. In the middle of the third period Anze Kopitar found Dustin Brown with a nice drop pass. Kings captain then made it 2-1 with 11:58 left in the third. The Kings did try to get that forbidden 3rd goal but it was the Ducks who scored instead. With only 3:11 left, Lubomir Visnovsky tied the game at two. The game headed to overtime. At 1:55 Drew Doughty stopped Bobby Ryan on a break away but earned himself a holding penalty. The Kings managed to kill the usually deadly 4 on 3 Ducks power play. With 30 seconds left in OT they were even given their own when Bobby Ryan went to the box for holding. The Kings didn’t convert so the game had to be once again decided in the shootout. While it was only Perry who scored for the Ducks, Stoll and Brown scored for the Kings, thus earning the W for their team.

Simon had a rather average game. He didn’t stand out neither in a good way nor in the bad way. He was even in the +/- rating, had one shot on net and one missed shot. The Kings play in San Jose tonight so here’s hoping he’ll finally hit the net.

Full game recaps: NHL.com | kings.nhl.com | LA Times | Surly & Scribe
Videos: highlights | shootout | Greene | Brown | coach Sutter

Categories: Simon

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