Published March 04, 2012
LOS ANGELES – Jeff Carter scored his first two goals since joining the Kings last week, and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in Los Angeles' 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
Captain Dustin Brown scored a power-play goal and Anze Kopitar added an empty-netter for the Kings, who won the Freeway Faceoff for the fourth time in the Southern California clubs' five meetings this season. Mike Richards had three assists for Los Angeles, which also improved its playoff chances by moving within one point of Dallas for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Sheldon Brookbank and Devante Smith-Pelly scored for the Ducks, whose hopes for an improbable playoff run are fading with their third loss in four games following the trade deadline.
Jonas Hiller stopped 16 shots in his 25th consecutive start for Anaheim, but the Ducks are stuck in 12th place in the conference, seven points from a playoff spot with 16 games to play.
In his fourth game with the Kings, Carter injected some life into the NHL's lowest-scoring lineup with a pair of second-period goals. Los Angeles traded defenseman Jack Johnson to Columbus for Carter, who has added toughness and skill to a surprisingly punchless offense that has scored 13 goals since he arrived.
While Los Angeles had the previous three days off, the Ducks finished a taxing stretch of five games in seven days with three losses. Anaheim had the NHL's best record in 2012 before this stretch, but still hasn't climbed out of its 20-point deficit in the playoff race.
Brown opened the scoring in the first period when defenseman Alec Martinez's long shot got away from Hiller to set up Brown's 19th goal — and his 10th point in six games since he was widely rumored to be on the trading block.
Brookbank evened it 3 1/2 minutes later with a seeing-eye shot through traffic in front of Quick. The veteran defenseman is suddenly a scoring machine with three goals in nine games after failing to score a goal in his previous 167 NHL contests.
Carter put the Kings back ahead at the end of another scramble for rebounds during a power play, beating Hiller for his 16th goal of the season.
Carter scored again 11 minutes later when longtime Philadelphia teammate Mike Richards set him up for a quick shot in the slot, but Anaheim answered just 13 seconds later. Smith-Pelly drove the net and beat Quick between the goalie's legs for the rookie's fourth career goal, his first since returning to the Ducks after breaking his left foot while playing for Canada at the World Junior Championships in late December.
NOTES: Teemu Selanne's assist on Brookbank's goal moved the 41-year-old Finnish Flash within one point of his idol, Jari Kurri, for 19th place in NHL scoring history. Selanne tied Norm Ullman for 42nd place with his 739th assist. ... The Kings failed to score during 62 seconds of 5-on-3 play in the second period. ... Drew Doughty, the Kings' $56 million defenseman, hasn't recorded an assist in 14 games since Feb. 1. ... Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne, the leading scorer in Kings history, attended the game.