Ducks beat Kings 4-3 in SO, clinch West's top seed
- Article by: MIKE CRANSTON
- Associated Press
- April 14, 2014 - 1:13 AM
LOS ANGELES — Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first goal in regulation since Halloween, then got the only goal in the shootout as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 Saturday night to secure the top seed for the Western Conference playoffs.
Nick Bonino and Matt Beleskey also scored in regulation and Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots for the Ducks, who will face Dallas in the opening round of the postseason.
Anze Kopitar had two goals, including the tying one with 3:12 left in the third period, and Dustin Brown also scored for Los Angeles. The Kings fell short of getting their franchise-record 47th win in their regular-season finale.
Both local rivals scored in the final 5 minutes of regulation, and Smith-Pelly then beat Jonathan Quick in the fourth round of the shootout.
Beleskey's snap shot with 4:47 left put Anaheim ahead 3-2. The Ducks needed only a point to clinch the top playoff seed, so the shootout win was an added bonus.
Smith-Pelly put Anaheim ahead 2-1 at 2:33 of the second period when Hampus Lindholm's shot hit his skate in front of the crease and trickled in. Smith-Pelly, who has spent most of the season in the minors, last scored at Boston on Oct. 31.
The King tied it 48 seconds into the final period when when Kopitar wrapped a shot past Andersen from behind the net.
Andersen stopped all four shots in the shootout in another strong performance that leaves coach Bruce Boudreau with plenty of options and a tough decision to make in goal once the playoffs start.
With primary goaltender Jonas Hiller struggling of late, Andersen and fellow rookie John Gibson have shined late.
The Kings, already locked into a matchup with San Jose in the first round, closed the regular season with their fourth straight loss to their rivals.
The rivalry featured some oddities early: cheers for the opposition and a Kings penalty.
Los Angeles presented Anaheim winger Teemu Selanne with a paddle board before the game as he received a standing ovation from Kings fans. The retiring 43-year-old was in a suit as he had a scheduled night off before he's honored by his home fans in the regular-season finale Sunday against Colorado.
Brown put the Kings ahead less than 5 minutes in. Willie Mitchell retrieved an Anaheim turnover in the neutral zone and found Brown free at the blue line. He skated in alone and beat Andersen.
Bonino tied it less than two minutes later with an acrobatic goal. From his knees, falling away from the goal at a difficult angle, Bonino sent a backhander past Quick near the far post.
Brown was called for holding at 13:38, the first penalty against the Kings in three games and just over 140 minutes.
Both teams were 0 for 4 on the power play, while Quick made 21 saves.
NOTES: Boston's victory over Buffalo earlier in the day ended the Ducks' chances of winning the Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's top record. ... Anaheim (114 points) needed only to assure a tie with Colorado (111 points) and St. Louis (111) because it holds the tiebreaker against both teams. ... Kings D Drew Doughty (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game.
© 2015 Star Tribune