“It’s frustrating, because this is the time of year guys need to score,” Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. “In the season, they played the puck-possession game, but we got timely goals and beat them. Now, they’re getting the timely goals and we’re not putting them in the back of the net.”
The primary reason for that is because the front of that net is occupied by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, the Stanley Cup winner of 2012 who stopped 36 shots Monday in the Kings’ sixth consecutive playoff victory.
Helene Elliott: Alec Martinez is solid in Kings’ 3-1 victory over Ducks
Without defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr, who are sidelined by injuries, every Kings defender who can stand upright has had to play pressure minutes and give a bit more than he has before. Maybe more than any of them knew they could give.
Martinez, paired on Monday with veteran Matt Greene, exemplified that effort in his 18 minutes 21 seconds on the ice.
Anze Kopitar spotted Gaborik moving up ice quickly and gave him a pass in stride. Gaborik got an angle on Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy and moved in to terrorize goalie Hiller once again, snapping a quick wrist shot by him.
One shot. One goal. Thirty-four seconds in and the Kings jumped out 1-0 thanks to Gaborik’s sixth goal of the playoffs and third in a span of 12 minutes, 48 seconds.
Mark Whicker: Gritty Kings keep Ducks on their heels
They were given credit for 12 shots on goal in a second period in which the Kings basically got inside the Ducks’ tattoos. Jonathan Quick did stop Devante Smith-Pelly on a reasonably tough chance, but he could have updated his playlist the rest of the period, so routine was his workload. The Ducks could not make a pass that wasn’t ticked or nicked by a Kings’ stick, and they were kept far away from Quick, like fans behind a velvet rope.
A snapshot of that second period was Perry, crossing the blue line and seeming to find at least the rumor of some space … and then turning and running smack-dab into Trevor Lewis. The two collided and Perry slowly went to the bench, yearning for bigger ice or at least a smaller opponent.
Pierre LeBrun: Quick leads road-warrior Kings
Sutter also didn’t overburden superstar blueliner Drew Doughty, who played 26:25, pretty much his normal fare. Sutter said after a grueling seven-game series versus San Jose and then two games in three days at Honda Center to open this round, he felt it important to try to play four lines and three defense pairs Monday night, spreading the minutes as much as possible.
By taking a 1-0 lead 34 seconds into the game on Marian Gaborik’s breakaway goal and then a 2-1 lead at 12:07of the first period on Alec Martinez’s goal, the Kings were able to play with a lead most of the night, which allowed that kind of rotation with his lines.
Curtis Zupke: Gaborik, Quick lead Kings to sixth straight win
Frustration was evident in the Ducks dressing room for a team whose strength is offensive depth.
“I’m ticked off right now,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “We’re in playoff time right now. There are no excuses for anything. We have to be better, I have to be better, and I expect our group to respond.”
Corey Masisak: Kings’ Doughty roughed up, but excels anyway
Doughty is always going to be the target of physical play. Few players in the League can skate with him or can compete with his stamina, so one way to try and slow him down is with brute force.
Given that Los Angeles is already short two top-six defensemen, the Ducks may have put a little extra emphasis on hitting the guy wearing No. 8 as well.
SB Nation – ANAHEIM CALLING
Chris Kober: Worst Possible Start Leads to 3-1 Loss in Game 2
For some reason the Daryl Sutter was content to let his team sit back and let the Ducks come at them for the entire third period, rather than their normal method of playing keep away to kill the clock on a lead in the third period. There was a push from the Ducks and there were rebounds to be had, but due to good control by Quick and good positioning by the collapsing defense never fell to a Duck’s stick