2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings

Video: Ducks defeat the Kings at Dodger Stadium in ‘Hollywood production’

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In the biggest battle hockey has ever seen in Southern California, it was the Anaheim Ducks that came away victorious over the L.A. Kings.

Before a crowd of 54,099 fans at historic Dodger Stadium, the Ducks skated their way to a 3-0 victory over the struggling Kings, who have now lost their last five games.

The game was the main event to a party fit for L.A. The band KISS rocked fans before puck drop, and Wayne Gretzky was the guest of honor for the ceremonial faceoff at center ice before things got underway for real.

Legendary L.A. Dodgers play-by-play man Vin Scully was there, helping to kickoff the festivities. And the weather? Well, that wasn’t an issue. History was made when Corey Perry opened the scoring in the first period. Tempers began to flare when Kyle Palmieri collided with Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick in the third period.

It was an eventful evening. The players, well, they seemed to love it.

“We felt like rock stars. We had Kiss playing in the background. By far the coolest feeling I’ve had playing hockey,” said Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejov, as per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press.

The NHL, which will not go through with six outdoor games next season, seems to think it’s secured a victory on this night.

“Hollywood could not have scripted a more magical launch to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and this historic weekend for the National Hockey League,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement released by the league.

“On behalf of all who enjoyed every minute of this exceptional evening, I congratulate the Kings and Ducks for writing another remarkable chapter in the history of hockey in California.

“Thanks to Dan Craig and his ice crew, who once again exceeded the loftiest expectations for playing conditions; thanks to the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium for their gracious welcome, and thanks to everyone who contributed to the creation of a spectacular experience for our fans.”

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.