Ducks edge Kings 2-1 in OT on Rakell’s goal
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — It didn’t take long for Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle to pivot from the elation that comes from a big win to the realization that the next game is just as important.
That’s how close the standings are in the Western Conference.
Rickard Rakell scored 4:41 into overtime, lifting the Ducks to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
“My mind is already to the next one,” Carlyle said. “You give yourself a few minutes to savor the win, but the bottom line is we’re in a situation where we need every point. We’re a desperate hockey club and we’re going to play a desperate hockey club coming in here on Sunday.”
Los Angeles is one point ahead of Anaheim for third place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have four games remaining while the Kings have three, but Los Angeles would have the tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same number of points because it has more wins in regulation and overtime.
Anaheim holds the first wild card from the Western Conference, one point ahead of Colorado and St. Louis.
The Ducks host the Avalanche on Sunday night.
Nick Ritchie also scored and John Gibson saved 28 shots for the Ducks, who are 6-1-1 in their last eight games. Ondrej Kase had two assists.
Drew Doughty scored and Jonathan Quick made 31 saves for the Kings, who are 4-1-2 in their last seven.
Rakell’s 32nd goal came on a shot from the right circle that went over Quick’s shoulder, putting him one away from matching his career high set last season. It was the third game-winning goal for Rakell this season.
Defenseman Hampus Lindholm thought his fellow Swede was due, especially with the added advantage of open ice in overtime.
“He’s one of the best in the league at moving the puck and then shooting it, and that’s why he has been scoring so many goals lately and it’s fun to see him do that,” Lindholm said.
Of the last 24 games between the Kings and Ducks, 17 have been decided by one goal.
“A lot of these games are the same,” Ritchie said. “Just another Anaheim-LA game, and it usually lives up to it, and especially with four or five games left and playoff stuff on the line.”
The Kings jumped in front in the first on Doughty’s first goal since March 10. Doughty’s shot from the right circle fluttered in after Gibson could not squeeze the puck under his left arm.
Anze Kopitar had an assist, becoming the eighth Kings player with 90 points in a season, and the first since Wayne Gretzky in 1993-94.
Ritchie tied the game with 3:05 left in the second period. He scored his second goal in four games on a backhand after Quick saved Francois Beauchemin’s initial shot.
“We didn’t play good enough for the full 60 minutes to win a hockey game tonight,” Doughty said. “In order to beat that team you have to play a lot better.”
Anaheim’s Corey Perry twice found himself in position to score in the third period, but he failed to get his stick on a one-timer and put another shot over the net. Adrian Kempe and Tanner Pearson each had good looks saved by Gibson in the closing minute of regulation.
“I think at the end of the day it is going to be a big point,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “It’s a big point, but we need two points this time of the year.”
NOTES: The Ducks went 3-0-2 in the Freeway Faceoff. ... Kings F Alex Iafallo (upper body) is day to day. ... Dustin Brown got his career-high 33rd assist on Doughty’s goal.
Kings: Host Colorado on Monday night.
Ducks: Host Colorado on Sunday night.
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