What a night at the Honda Ponda for Duck fans as their team thrashed their cross-county rival Kings seven to four. Embarrassed by last year’s late-season fade out, commensurate with the Kings’ amazing run to the Stanley Cup Championship, the re-grouped Ducks have started the season fast, and brought it to the Kings in their first faceoff of the strike-shortened season.
The Ducks began the embarrassment by driving Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick to the bench after less than six minutes. Quick had started the season poorly – as we have often aid, likely reflecting his less than complete recovery from off-season back surgery – but he had come on strong lately. Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier faired not much better, surrendering four more goals before being pulled in the final couple of minutes of the game.
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|The star for the Ducks was fourth-line center Nick Bonino with his first-ever hat trick, including both of those quick goals off of Quick. Before the game we wrote how power-play scoring (as well as goaltending) could play a big part in the game, and that proved to be the case. Before last night, the Kings had not scored a power play goal on the road, but Dustin Brown put in two last night. However, the Ducks won the battle of the power play with three goals, against as we had described yesterday, the fifth best power play defense in the league, having killed 86% of penalties. It was 25% last night against the Ducks|
.The Ducks will have their beaks full tomorrow night as they travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks, who moments ago saw their undefeated season go down the drain, as they lost a shootout to Nashville, 2-1. The Sharks will be looking for duck blood tomorrow after that tough loss, and the Ducks will be coming off a big high after their decisive win over the Kings. The Kings are in the Pacific Division cellar, have four more road games to play before returning to Staples, and are facing the reality that NFL life without defensemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene is difficult.
A couple of final notes: Eleven goals ties the most total goals ever scored in a Ducks-Kings game, and the Ducks’ seven is the highest Duck total ever against the Kings.