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.