National Hockey League
Los Angeles 2, Anaheim 1
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 7, 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Referees: Mike Leggo, Dan O'Halloran
Linesmen: Kiel Murchison, Jay Sharrers
Attendance: 18511

LOS ANGELES -- A second-period flurry by the Los Angeles Kings made all the difference in the world in a win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

In a showdown between the co-leaders of the Pacific Division, the Kings got a go-ahead goal by Kris Versteeg in the opening minutes of the second, allowing them to take sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division again with a 2-1 victory over the Ducks in a feisty affair before a sellout crowd of 18,511 on Thursday night at Staples Center.

"That is more of what we need to play like," said Kings right winger Dustin Brown. "It was a big game for both teams, and everyone understands the situation for this game, and it is probably as close as you will get to a playoff game in the regular season, so it was good that we played our game."

Goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 19 of 20 shots as the Kings (48-28-5) ended a three-game skid to the Ducks. Quick also set a franchise high in wins in a season with 40.

The win allowed the Kings to grab a two-point advantage heading into the final weekend of regular-season play. Coupled with San Jose's loss, Los Angeles clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs and will win the division Saturday with a win vs. the Winnipeg Jets in its regular-season finale.

"We don't have it yet. We have a lot of work left to do and one massive game ahead of us," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said regarding the division crown. "Home ice is very important, and the pride thing is very important. I know the Kings have won one division title, so it is very important to us. There are so many factors that go into it, and we're looking to do that. We don't want to put any extra pressure on ourselves, just go out there and play our game and hopefully come out on top."

Goalie John Gibson recorded 27 saves for the Ducks (44-25-11).

The Ducks had captured 11 of the past 14 regular-season matches between the two clubs, dropping only the initial clash 3-2 on Jan. 17 in Anaheim. However, they claimed the season series 3-2.

"They outworked us for two periods," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You get 10 shots on goal, you're not going to have success. It wasn't the recipe that we've had when we've been in this building before. They were pretty determined, they came in, they outworked us and they got two goals in five minutes and that was the game."

Ryan Kesler put the Ducks on the board, converting a pass from Jakob Silfverberg and smoking a wrist shot past Quick with 3:49 left in the first period for a 1-0 lead. It was Kesler's 21st goal of the season.

The Kings grabbed the lead with a pair of goals early in the second period. Milan Lucic tied the score 28 seconds after intermission, gathering a loose puck and slipping it by Gibson for his 20th goal of the season.

Versteeg followed with his 15th goal, his fourth as a King, at 2:01 of the period for a 2-1 Los Angeles edge. Versteeg corralled a rebound near the net and cashed it in after a shot by Brayden McNabb went astray.

"I didn't think we managed the puck properly," Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. "You have to give them credit. They came over the top a lot, forced us to make plays through people and those kinds of things. We weren't able to do that for the most part tonight."

Added Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, "It wasn't as clean as we'd like it to be against a team like that who is extremely physical and creates offense from their fore-check. You have to manage the puck or you're going to be scrambling all night, and that was kind of the theme tonight."

NOTES: D Drew Doughty passed Jay Wells for fourth overall in games played by Kings defensemen with 605. ... D Kevin Bieksa, C Brandon Pirri, D Sami Vatanen LW David Perron, RW Richard Rakell and G Frederik Andersen were scratched by the Ducks. C Nick Shore, D Alec Martinez, D Kevin Gravel and C Nic Dowd were unavailable for the Kings. ... Anaheim leads the all-time series 60-43-24 entering the contest, but were 26-28-9 in Los Angeles. ... The Ducks complete their regular season with two road contests, beginning Saturday at the Colorado Avalanche. They visit the Washington Capitals on Sunday in a game that was originally scheduled for Jan. 22, but postponed because of a snowstorm.
Top Game Performances
Anaheim   Los Angeles
Ryan Kesler 1 Points Milan Lucic 1
Ryan Kesler 1 Goals Milan Lucic 1
Jakob Silfverberg 1 Assists Kyle Clifford 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Anton Khudobin 1.000 Save Percentage Jonathan Quick .950
John Gibson 27 Saves Jonathan Quick 19
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Anaheim 20 1 0-3 3-3 17 34
Los Angeles 31 2 0-3 3-3 17 33
Upcoming Games
  • Los Angeles will play their next game at home against Winnipeg. The Kings have a W/L % of .542 after a win and .667 after a loss.
  • Anaheim will play their next game on the road against Colorado. The Ducks have a W/L % of .556 after a win and .543 after a loss.