by Jesse Andreozzi
Anaheim Ducks 6 SO 5 Los Angeles Kings
The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are quickly forging the most thrilling rivalry matchup in the NHL. The two West Coast powerhouses are off to great starts this season, with the Ducks leading the Western Conference, and the Kings just a few points behind them in the Pacific Division.
Wednesday night’s clash produced 10 goals on a combined 75 shots. The first half of the game was all Los Angeles, as the Kings jumped out to a 3-1 lead, and chased Ducks’ goalie Frederik Andersen from the net halfway through the second period. The Ducks seemed to find their feet towards the end of the period though, with a goal by Jakob Silfverberg to pull within one heading into the third.
Ryan Kesler welcomed himself to the rivalry with a goal to tie the game two and a half minutes into the third. The Kings answered back soon after with two tallies in a five-minute span, one off a laser wrist shot from Marian Gaborik, and one off a rebound in front that Justin Williams banged home to put the Kings up 5-3.
A two-goal lead is usually safe for the Kings, who entered Wednesday’s game 6-0-0 when leading after two periods. The Ducks had other ideas, and Kesler got his second goal of the game to put his team within one. With less than two minute to go, Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf completed the comeback, deflecting the puck past Jonathan Quick for his fifth goal of the season.
After a hard-fought, but scoreless overtime period, the game was on the stick of (who else?) Ryan Kesler in the second round of the shootout. He rifled the puck past Quick, who was visibly frustrated after being beaten by Kesler for the third time that night. LaBarbera stopped Anze Kopitar’s attempt in the third round, and the Ducks celebrated arguably their greatest win so far this season.
In front of a sellout crowd at the Honda Center, the Ducks came back from three separate two-goal deficits and gave the fans something to cheer about in what has become one of the NHL’s most exciting rivalries.