Kings battle hard, beat Ducks

first_imgANAHEIM – The Kings took their role as tomato cans seriously. Perhaps at season’s end they’ll receive a nice thank-you note for helping the wobbling Ducks regain their edge after a lackluster stretch that threatened to shake their stranglehold on first place in the Pacific Division. But the Ducks (35-16-9) earned a point and extended their lead over the second-place San Jose Sharks to six points. They picked up three out of a possible four points during an entertaining home-and-home series with the last-place Kings (20-31-10), having won a 3-2 shootout Saturday night at Staples Center. Kings 4, Ducks 3 (shootout)Kings, Thursday: vs. Vancouver, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. FSN, KTLK/1150 Ducks, Tuesday: vs. Vancouver, Honda Center, 7:30 p.m. In the end, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky won Sunday night’s game for the Kings, 4-3, with the deciding goal in a shootout in front of an announced sellout crowd of 17,363 at the Honda Center. “We really looked at it as a playoff series for our guys,” Kings coach Marc Crawford said. “We prepared for it like it was a playoff series.” PRIME, KLAA/830 Sunday, the Ducks rallied from deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 to force overtime. They also got good news when they learned defenseman Chris Pronger was not seriously injured when he was struck in the chin and throat by Visnovsky’s one-timer in overtime. “Give them credit,” Ducks winger Ryan Getzlaf said of the Kings. “They battled hard and didn’t give up at all. Every time we had a chance (to break open the game), they came back and answered. They hung around long enough to sneak away with it.” Teemu Selanne scored a goal and assisted on two others, including Getzlaf’s third-period goal that tied the score at 3-all midway through the third period. Selanne’s goal was his 301st in two stints with the Ducks, a franchise record. Of passing his old linemate Paul Kariya, now with the Nashville Predators, Selanne said, “Obviously, it’s a great honor. It’s a really nice bonus.” Visnovsky, Michael Cammalleri and Derek Armstrong scored for the Kings, and Sean Burke had 39 saves. But it was the manner in which the Kings played that was so impressive. They did not back down from challenges and skated purposefully. No King epitomized their weekend of resilience more than Visnovsky, who was knocked woozy by a thunderous open-ice check by Chris Kunitz late in the third period. Visnovsky later said he didn’t know who hit him and admitted feeling dizzy. But he never missed a shift and responded with the winner in the shootout. The Kings played without team captain Mattias Norstrom, who suffered a sprained knee Saturday when Kunitz thumped him with a tough check in the first period. The Kings hope Norstrom will be fit to play later in the week. The Ducks played without checking-line center Todd Marchant, who suffered an abdominal strain Saturday. It is not related to a similar injury that forced Marchant to sit out six games earlier this season. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more