In a fiercely contested battle between California rivals on Wednesday, it was the Anaheim Ducks that came out ahead of the L.A. Kings. And it was Ryan Kesler’s milestone goal that pushed them to victory.
Kesler scored his 18th of the season and 200th career NHL goal, which was the game winner as the Ducks defeated the Kings by a final score of 3-2 in overtime.
Kesler, involved throughout this game, including trying to get under the skin of Marian Gaborik, was allowed to skate out from behind the net into a prime shooting position and beat Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot just 45 seconds into the extra period.
The Ducks trailed entering the third period. The first 40 minutes produced plenty of face-paced action and some massive hits, including the open-ice check Dustin Brown threw on Corey Perry, causing a melee near the benches.
But the Ducks scored twice in the first eight minutes of the third, including Jakob Silfverberg’s goal that gave Anaheim the lead. Quick was furious, as Ducks forward Nate Thompson went to the net on the rush, and it appeared the Kings’ goalie was blocked out for just a split second, and unable to get across to his left to make the save on Silfverberg.
The Kings move to within two points of the Vancouver Canucks for second place in the Pacific Division. But they also remain just one point up on the Calgary Flames.
The Canucks have a game in hand on both teams.
L.A. Kings Jonathan Quick was not at all happy with the Anaheim Ducks second goal, which gave the hosts a 2-1 lead in the third period of Wednesday’s battle between the two California rivals.
Jakob Silfverberg scored the goal. Ducks forward Nate Thompson was going hard to the net in a battle with Jake Muzzin, and with Thompson’s left leg in the crease, Quick appeared to get blocked out from moving to his left for just a split second, which allowed Silfverberg plenty of room to find the net.
Quick was furious. He shot the puck down the ice and pushed the net even closer toward the end boards.
Brad Richards had plenty of time. He took advantage of a defensive breakdown from the New York Rangers and made his former pay.
Back in June, Richards was bought out by the Rangers just days after the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
On Wednesday, his goal at the 7:19 mark of the third period counted as the winner for the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, as they defeated the Rangers 1-0 at Madison Square Garden. Scott Darling, in net for Chicago, recorded his first career NHL shutout.
Yeah, this felt good for the 34-year-old Richards, who scored his 11th goal of the season.
“You never want to say it, but tonight was a little special,” Richards told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It was a bonus to get one in this building against them. Not in a bad way. I have nothing bad to say about the organization or New York — everybody knows how much I loved playing here. But it’s pretty cool to score against them and win the game.”
These are tumultuous times for the San Jose Sharks.
A brief refresher of recent events:
— PHT Morning Skate: (Video) Jets fans taunt Sharks over Thornton saga
— Tensions rise in San Jose as Thornton says Wilson ‘needs to shut his mouth’
— ‘Pressure and stress’ of captaincy caused Thornton to lash out at people, says Sharks GM
You get the idea.
And the Sharks are sitting six points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, which certainly adds to the dilemma.
The NHL Live crew on NBCSN, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie, discuss the situation in San Jose and what might have to change should the Sharks miss the playoffs.
Dustin Brown reintroduced himself to Corey Perry during the first period of Wednesday’s game between the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
No stranger to throwing massive hits, the Kings’ captain Brown drilled Perry with a crushing open-ice body check that appeared to be perfectly clean but set off a melee near the two benches in the neutral zone. Clayton Stoner and Simon Despres, coming to the defense of Perry, both jumped in grabbed Brown.
When the dust settled, the Kings ended up with the power play. Jeff Carter scored a few seconds later to give L.A. the lead in what was a hard-hitting, face-paced first period.