Kings Downed By ducks
Ducks 7, Kings 4
ANAHEIM, CA- Welcome to the local rivalry, Nick Bonino.
The former Boston University star entered Saturday night scoreless in six previous career games against the Los Angeles Kings. He was also demoted to the fourth line after a try centering Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan proved ineffective.
Bonino introduced himself with his first career hat trick in a 7-4 win as the Anaheim Ducks won a wildly entertaining game in front of a mixed-fan standing-room only crowd at Honda Center in the first meeting of the teams since the Kings won the Stanley Cup last spring.
"It's the Kings," Bonino said. "Anytime you beat the Kings, we're always happy.
"I can't really describe it. I haven't scored a ton of goal in my career so far, so it feels really good to get three here."
Bonino completed his hat trick when he shoveled in his own rebound from the left side of the net at 8:39 of the third period for a 6-4 lead. Selanne added a late insurance goal – the 666th of his career – to cap a game that finally lived up the expected rivalry as Los Angeles tied it three times, only to have Anaheim pull ahead every time.
The win came at the potential cost of defenseman Cam Fowler, who left with an upper body injury after he was driven into the boards by Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll at 16:31 of the second period.
"We haven't determined exactly what it is," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Boudreau said Fowler seemed alert when he saw him in the medical room. He also feels that the League will review the hit.
"I saw the numbers," Boudreau said. "When Stoll hit him, it was right from behind. They have to have a look at that. He might be okay tomorrow or he might be out for a while. I don't know."
Bonino said his approach didn't change after the demotion. The Ducks expect big things from the young forward, who was switched from jersey No. 63 to No. 13 in training camp – Anaheim's way of showing that a player is established.
"I hope it does a lot [for his confidence]," Boudreau said. "He was smiling pretty good and he was happy. I was really happy for him. Your first NHL hat trick doesn't happen very often."
This type of defensive lapse didn't happen to Los Angeles much last season. The Kings have allowed five goals in regulation twice in their first seven games after they allowed that many twice all of last season – including the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Not a good sign in the first of five games away from home.
"We've let ourselves down and shot ourselves in the foot by poor defensive play," Justin Williams said. "For whatever reason, we've been having tough times starting games. We've been getting behind early and trying to battle back. Once we do get back, we seem to just relax a bit. We're a much better team than we're showing and it's extremely disappointing at this point to see where we are."
The Ducks took leads of 4-3 and 5-4 on second-period power-play goals by Sheldon Souray and Kyle Palmieri. Souray unloaded his big slap shot with Mike Richards screening Jonathan Bernier, and Palmieri one-timed Saku Koivu's pass from the high slot into the net to put the Ducks ahead to stay.
Anaheim went 3 for 4 on the power play against a usually strong Kings penalty kill. It didn't matter that the Kings matched their power-play goal total from the previous six games.
"We need them both going at the same time," Brown said. "That's been a staple of our game and probably an indication of the mistakes we were making. Giving up that many power play goals, for this team, is uncharacteristic. How you play on the PK generally correlates how you play five-on-five."
Corey Perry capped a five-goal opening period with a gorgeous backhand feed to Ryan Getzlaf in the slot. Anaheim was able to get Getzlaf's line out against L.A.'s fourth line, and Getzlaf won the faceoff to Perry.
The opening minutes let everyone know that this was going to be a wild night.
Bonino scored twice in the first 5:49 to energize Anaheim. He grabbed the puck away from Colin Fraser and stickhandled past Jake Muzzin and a sprawled Jonathan Quick to score at 2:30. He then skated behind the Kings' goal line with Doughty defending and swiped the puck under Quick's left pad from his knees.
That forced Kings coach Darryl Sutter to pull Quick for the first time since Feb. 9, 2012, and Bernier made his first appearance since last March 31.
"No one changes goalies, but it was 2-0 five minutes into the game," Sutter said. "You have to do something."
Emerson Etem assisted on both of Bonino's goals for his first NHL points.
The 11 goals matched the highest combined total in the 109-game series. Anaheim also matched its highest-scoring game against L.A., matching the seven goals it scored on Nov. 8, 1996.