Ducks Drop Fourth Straight of Preseason, 4-2 to LA
Jeff Carter was a major force for the Kings as they vanquished Anaheim in last year’s postseason, and he did his damage on the Ducks yet again tonight at Honda Center. The big LA winger had a hat trick as the Kings downed the Ducks for the second straight game, the fourth preseason defeat in a row for Anaheim. The Ducks got goals from youngsters Sami Vatanen and Emerson Etem, but came up empty on several golden opportunities as they dropped to 2-3-1 this preseason (including a shootout loss in LA three nights ago).
"It’s not worth anything, but at the end of the day, this is the time when you start feeling good about your game," said Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano.
"Right now, we’re a little in between. We had some good zone pressure, hit a couple of posts, but the breakdowns are pretty significant." The Kings got on the board 2:47 into the game when Robyn Regehr’s shot hit Francois Beauchemin’s leg and got past goalie Frederik Andersen.
The Ducks had a few enticing chances go awry in the opening period, including a breakaway by Dany Heatley in which he made a series of moves to get goalie Martin Jones down, but Jones robbed Heatley with his splayed out skate.
Midway through the first, Ducks rookie William Karlsson rang a shot off the post with an open net in front of him, which led to LA’s second goal. Seconds after that shot, Carter was checked by Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler on the left wing but still was able to get off a shot that deflected off Andersen and got behind him.
The Ducks cut into the lead not long afterward when Vatanen’s shot from the point sailed through traffic and past Jones. Anaheim drew even with 2:43 left in the middle session on an unorthodox goal as the puck deflected off Etem's skate then off the post, and Etem jammed in the rebound as he was falling to the ice. The Kings went back in front a little over a minute later when Fowler knocked down a Slava Voynov point shot, but the puck caromed to Carter, who put it home for his second of the evening.
A Carter high-sticking double minor and an Andy Andreoff hooking penalty gave the Ducks ample power play opportunity in the second, but they couldn’t take advantage. They were 0 for 6 on the man advantage for the game, including two 5-on-3s, and are now 0 for 15 in the preseason. Carter got his third of the game seconds after a bad Fowler turnover in front of the net, as Tyler Toffoli tapped the puck over to Carter, who lifted it under the crossbar. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was able to find positives in tonight's game.
"After one of his non-stellar games last night, Sami Vatanen bounced back and played a good game," Boudreau said.
"After that second goal, Freddie [Andersen] really got into the game and played really well. I thought Emerson Etem and William Karlsson were pretty good." The Ducks don't play again until they close out the preseason Saturday night against the Sharks at Honda Center.
"We want to work on everything," Boudreau said. "It’s no secret that we had two 5-on-3s. We need to focus on getting a lot better. We’ll focus on [special teams] plus the rest of the systems work. We’ll be ready."