Willsie’s goal lifts Kings over Ducks in NHL’s preseason opener
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Brian Willsie put Los Angeles in front with 5:06 left, Kyle Calder scored twice and the Kings beat the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks 5-4 Thursday night in the NHL’s preseason opener.
The Ducks played at Honda Center for the first time since June 6, when they beat the Ottawa Senators 6-2 in Game 5 of the finals and became the first team from California to win an NHL title. This was the first of seven preseason games they will play in an 11-day span before leaving for London, where they will start the season with a pair of games against the Kings.
Southern California’s other team has only four more dress rehearsals against NHL clubs before making a side trip to Salzberg, Austria, for two more exhibition games. After their two-game set with the Ducks in England, the next meeting between the teams will be Nov. 13 in Anaheim.
Gabe Gauthier and Matt Moulson each had a goal and an assist for the Kings, with both teams dressing more prospects than veterans. Maxim Kondratiev, Mike Hoffman, Dan LaCouture and Jason King scored for Anaheim.
Bryzgalov gave up four goals on 18 shots. Both starting goalies were replaced midway through the second period with the Kings leading 4-3. Backups Jean-Sebatien Aubin and J.P. Levasseur played the rest of the way.
The Ducks and Kings split the eight-game season series in 2006-07, with seven of the games decided by one-goal margins.
With a crowd of 16,973 looking on, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger was assessed four minor penalties—one of which resulted in a power-play goal by Moulson that helped the Kings build a 3-1 lead through one period. Gauthier’s goal came just 3 seconds after Pronger’s hooking penalty expired, and Calder got his second goal 9 seconds after the Ducks killed off Pronger’s interference penalty.