LA Kings close in on playoff spot with 2-1 win over Ducks

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Phillip Danault scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings solidified their grasp on a playoff spot with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in a frequently spectacular performance, and Adrian Kempe scored the first goal in the Kings' third victory in four games. Los Angeles is closing in on the end of its three-season playoff drought, moving five points clear of Vegas for third place in the Pacific Division.

The Kings still had trouble shaking the Ducks in the third Freeway Faceoff of the season, and Quick had to play an outstanding second period to keep the score even.

Los Angeles then went ahead 32 seconds into the third when Danault put his shot over a sprawled John Gibson into an open net.

The goal was initially waved off because Viktor Arvidsson made contact with Gibson’s right pad after Gibson stopped his shot, but video review reversed the call, giving Danault his 25th goal of the season.

Adam Henrique scored and Gibson stopped 26 shots for the Ducks, who will miss the playoffs in four consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Anaheim has lost 17 of 20.

After a scoreless first period, Kempe put the Kings ahead early in the second with a snap shot on a loose puck off a faceoff. Kempe's 34 goals are tied for the second-most by a Los Angeles player in the past 15 seasons, surpassed only by captain Anze Kopitar's 35 goals in 2017-18.

Five minutes later, Troy Terry fed Henrique for his 18th goal on a slick backhand. Anaheim had several golden scoring chances while controlling most of the rest of the period, but Quick was outstanding in the Kings' net while facing 17 shots in the period.

Quick had to make a handful of impressive saves in the third as well, including a robbery of All-Star forward Troy Terry. The 36-year-old former Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie continued his impressive play during his revitalized season in Los Angeles' net.

The Southern California rivals meet again this weekend in downtown Los Angeles.

UP NEXT

Kings: Host Blackhawks on Thursday.

Ducks: At Kings on Saturday.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

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