Kings overcome goalie's match penalty, beat rival Ducks 6-3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Viktor Arvidsson scored two goals, Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists, and Adrian Kempe scored his eighth goal in four games during the Los Angeles Kings' 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night in a feisty edition of the Freeway Faceoff.
Pheonix Copley made 16 saves before the Kings’ unlikely No. 1 goalie got a match penalty in the final minute of the second period for throwing punches with his blocker during a big brawl. Copley also skated out to accept John Gibson’s invitation for a center-ice goalie fight, but linesmen intervened first.
“They were going at (Copley) a couple of times earlier in the game, so he had probably just had enough,” said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who had two assists. “I would have loved for the linesmen to just let ’em go, but Cop has been playing great for us, and we don’t need him getting injured.”
Captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which scored three times on the power play. Blake Lizotte also scored and Jonathan Quick made eight saves after relieving Copley for the Kings, who have won three straight out of the All-Star break while scoring at least five goals in three consecutive games for the first time since 2009.
“You get excited to play these games,” Kempe said. “Every game, there's something on the line. We know we have to win these types of games for sure. We've got to keep playing the way we've been playing.”
The Southern California rivals separated by 30 miles of traffic engaged in a heated brawl in the final minute of the second period, leading to Copley's match penalty for whaling on Frank Vatrano during the scrum.
Gibson then skated to center ice and slapped his stick to get the attention of Copley, who threw off his mask and skated out to tangle before getting stopped by a linesman.
The scrap was another intriguing chapter in the improbable rise of Copley, the 31-year-old native of North Pole, Alaska, who seized Los Angeles’ No. 1 job after Quick and Cal Petersen faltered early this season.
“He was given an opportunity, and he made good on it,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “You can't write a better script than that.”
Gibson stopped 35 shots and Kevin Shattenkirk scored goals in back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two years for the last-place Ducks. Mason McTavish and Vatrano scored in the third period for Anaheim, which has yielded 26 goals during a four-game losing streak following a two-week stretch of solid play.
Lizotte opened the scoring by ending his 19-game goal drought, but Shattenkirk evened it with a long shot past a screen. The veteran defenseman ended his 60-game goal drought Wednesday against Buffalo.
Kempe got his 28th goal on a power play. The Swede has goals in four consecutive games, highlighted by his four-goal performance against Pittsburgh last weekend.
McTavish scored his 12th goal with 2:09 left in the Anaheim power play resulting from the brawl, but the Kings reclaimed a two-goal lead on Kopitar's power-play goal through traffic.
Vatrano scored with 6:50 to play after Quick stopped his first two attempts from the slot, but Arvidsson walked in from the corner and scored on a power play 2:20 later. Fiala added an empty-net goal to cap his latest standout effort for his new team.
Kings forward Gabriel Vilardi returned from a 10-game absence since mid-January due to an undisclosed injury.
Kings: Host Arizona on Saturday.
Ducks: At Florida on Monday.
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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press