The intense rivalry between the two local teams continued at the Staples Center on November 4th with the Ducks prevailing 1-0 in Overtime. A rare scoreless battle played into overtime before Chris Pronger scored to give the Ducks the hard fought win. The Ducks had the man advantage on a late and questionable penalty call against the Kings and Pronger unleashed a wicked slap shot for the game winner. I always believe it is best to let the players decide the game when it is that close the whole way and penalties should be only called on breakaways or blatant mistake penalties. It was very frustrating to lose like that.
It was two periods of back and forth action with hardly any exciting play except for the spectacular save by goalie J.S. Giguere on Kyle Calder at the goal line. Then both teams started the third period as if they wanted to win with enthusiasm, energy and sustained puck control. The Ducks are playing great as of late with a healthy Teemu Selanne along with Ryan Getzlaf, Pronger and Giguere leading the way (all pictured below). They have also benefited great by having defenseman & captain Scott Niedermayer for the enitre season.
Coach Terry Murray continues to juggle lines trying to find some scoring punch without much success as the top Kings scorers really never had any good chances. The Kings are in last place but not far behind. The team is young and will improve.
Erik Ersberg from Sweden was screened on the game winner in the overtime period but played his steady game and will battle starter Jason Labarbera for more playing time.
Other noteworthy Kings were newcomers Oscar Moller and Drew Doughty (pictured below) along with veteran Sean O’Donnell for their efforts to put the puck on the net from the blue line and playing well. The Kings need more scoring from their top players, particularly assistant captain Anze Kopitar, captain Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov, Patrick O’Sullivan and Jarret Stoll, who came over from Edmonton in a trade (pictured below with Ersberg).
More info, tickets and upcoming games at www.kings.nhl.com