ANAHEIM -- Three players who weren’t even on the Kings last season helped their new team build a two-goal lead Thursday night against the Ducks, but it was one of the longest-tenured Kings who added the finishing touches.
Anze Kopitar scored with 3 minutes 1 second left in regulation, lifting the Kings to a 5-3 victory at Honda Center and putting them back atop the Pacific Division.
The goal came just seconds after Kopitar made a nice move in the crease to open up a side of the net, but he shot wide. He collected the puck again and came around the opposite side, getting stuffed on the first attempt but then lifting the puck into the net as a crowd of Kings and Ducks converged on the crease.
Simon Gagne also scored a short-handed goal for the Kings, Slava Voynov scored on a power play and Mike Richards at even strength and another short-hander into an empty net to help the Kings to their third consecutive victory and second in two nights against the struggling Ducks, who rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period only to lose for the ninth time in the last 10 games and 12th in 14.
Kings coach Terry Murray gambled by starting Jonathan Quick in goal on back-to-back nights, but he was just as sound as the night before, when he led the Kings to a 2-1 shootout victory against the Ducks at Staples Center.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle countered by sitting his No. 1 goalie, Jonas Hiller, in favor of backup Dan Ellis, and he wasn’t up for a second straight barrage of shots by the Kings.
After totaling 37 shots on goal in the victory Wednesday night against the Ducks, the Kings came back with 36 more against Ellis.
The Kings led, 2-1, after the second period and improved their record to 65-0-3 in the last 68 games when leading after two periods.
Voynov, recalled Monday after Alec Martinez went down because of an upper-body injury Saturday night against the visiting Wild, had a goal and an assist, giving him five points in seven games with the Kings this season. His goal turned out to be a big one, as Corey Perry cut the deficit to 3-2 with a power-play goal 8 ½ minutes into the third period. Andrew Cogliano scored his second goal of the game with 6:25 left to tie the score, 3-3.
Voynov's goal early in the third period marked the sixth straight game the Kings have scored a power-play goal, their longest streak since the start of the 2009-10 season.
Andrei Loktionov, another 21-year-old Russian who was recalled from the AHL over the weekend as a replacement for the injured Dustin Penner, assisted on Richards’ goal for his first point of the season.
More to come from the locker room.