ANAHEIM, Calif. - For the second straight game, the Los Angeles Kings engineered a strong third-period rally to steal at least one point in the standings. What they didn't count on was Anaheim's Andy McDonald scoring the clinching goal in a shootout for the second straight game.
"They competed pretty hard in the third period. But when you've got a two-goal lead like that, you've got to keep it," McDonald said Tuesday night after the Ducks beat the Kings 4-3. "One of those goals was on a power play, so we've got to be careful keeping our discipline."
Ryan Getzlaf and Kent Huskins scored power-play goals and Todd Marchant also tallied for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who began a six-game stretch in which they will face their Southern California rivals three times - including Thursday night in Los Angeles. The teams opened the season by splitting a two-game set in London, with each team winning 4-1.
Michael Cammalleri scored the tying goal on a power play with 6:49 left in the third period for the Kings. Tom Preissing and Matt Moulson also scored, Alexander Frolov had three assists and Jason LaBarbera made 30 saves.
Los Angeles was coming off a 6-5 overtime victory over Dallas at home on Saturday night in which the Kings erased a 4-0 deficit with five goals in a 5:07 span of the third period.
"Obviously, with their game the other night in the third period, they poured it on strong - and they did it again to us," Marchant said. "I think we got caught on our heels a little bit. We have be more disciplined and stay out of the penalty box, plain and simple, and be able to sustain that forecheck a little better.
"We need a lot of other guys to step up their game and play better for us to get back to where we need to be."
The Kings nearly pulled off another improbable comeback victory. Moulson cut Anaheim's lead to 3-2 with 15:24 to play, converting Frolov's pass from the right circle for an easy tap-in as Getzlaf left Moulson unchecked in front of the crease to go after Frolov.
Cammalleri tied the game, scoring his 12th goal on a one-timer from the top of the right circle while goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere was screened by teammate Chris Pronger and Kings forward Dustin Brown. Giguere finished with 29 saves.
"Obviously they're a very good team, but we came back from 3-1," Moulson said. "The guys showed a lot of effort and grit, getting the pucks into the zone and getting to the net. It shows a lot of character."
The Ducks opened the scoring at 15:14 of the first period when Getzlaf beat LaBarbera high to the glove side with a one-timer from the top of the left circle during a hooking penalty against Cammalleri.
"It was a big start for us and the way we wanted to come out," Getzlaf said. "Anytime our power play can contribute that way, it's going to make us better."
The Ducks made it 2-0 on Marchant's 20-foot wrist shot after LaBarbera came out to poke-check the puck off Drew Miller's stick in the low slot and couldn't scramble back to the crease in time.
Less than 1½ minutes later, Kings rookie John Zeiler caught Getzlaf with his head down near the left boards in the Kings' zone and leveled him. Marchant retaliated against Zeiler - who had lost his helmet in the collision - and received a four-minute roughing penalty. The Kings capitalized as Preissing beat Giguere from the right circle with 13.5 seconds in the first period.
"You always want to get that extra point, especially against these guys, but overall we're happy with the effort," Cammalleri said. "We came out pretty hard and got some chances. Maybe if we could have scored on a couple of those, it changes the face of the game. But I think it's a good sign that we were able to stick with it."
Huskins made it 3-1, beating LaBarbera through the pads from 50 feet with a one-timer along the ice after LaBarbera's clearing attempt around the boards was intercepted by Chris Kunitz. The goal came with 17 seconds left a roughing penalty against Kings rookie defenceman Jack Johnson.
Notes: Marchant, who had only 10 penalty minutes through the first 18 games this season, was called for slashing in the second period. ... Anaheim D Mathieu Schneider and Sean O'Donnell are among 19 players who have played for the Ducks and Kings. ... Three Ducks goalies have started against the Kings in the first three meetings. Ilya Bryzgalov lost 4-1 on Sept. 29 while Giguere was recovering from hernia surgery, and Jonas Hiller won 4-1 the following night.