ANAHEIM — It was fast. It was frantic. It was fun. It was entertaining.
It looked like a Swedish national team scrimmage for a while on Monday night at Honda Center.
Rickard Rakell led the charge for the Tre Kronor and for the Ducks, scoring two goals and assisting on a third to spark them to a 6-5 overtime victory over countryman Adrian Kempe and the Kings. Rakell has five goals and seven assists during a six-game scoring streak.
Trevor Zegras set up Adam Henrique for the winner three minutes into OT.
Kempe scored three times for the Kings, who chased the game from the start. The Kings caught up a couple of times, but the Ducks appeared to break open the game with three second-period goals, including one from Rakell and one from Jakob Silfverberg, another Swede. The Ducks couldn’t seal the deal, though.
Max Comtois had three assists for the Ducks.
Anze Kopitar set up two goals for the Kings, including Dustin Brown’s team-leading 13th.
Kempe’s third goal, with 2:32 left in regulation, forced the game to OT.
The Ducks built a 5-3 lead by the end of the second period Monday.
Was it safe?
Was it a mirage?
Could the Kings rally?
It was that kind of a game, with plenty of flashes of brilliance and plenty of reasons for concern.
No one could say it wasn’t entertaining, though.
The only thing missing were the fans and their dueling chants and putdowns.
But that’s life in the time of COVID-19.
Kempe had countered Kevin Shattenkirk’s goal that gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead only 2:45 into the game, but Rakell scored late in the period to make it 2-1. Ryan Getzlaf assisted on Rakell’s goal for the 699th of his career, fourth-most among active players.
The Ducks and Kings traded goals until defenseman Ben Hutton skated to the net and chipped a bouncing puck into the net for a 3-2 lead at 8:30 of the second period. Kings goaltender Cal Petersen had zero chance to deny Hutton, who scored his first goal with the Ducks.
Hutton played last season with the Kings and he had the sort of jump Monday that comes with playing against one’s former team.
Silfverberg’s short-handed goal extended the Ducks’ lead to 4-2 at 14:04 of the second, slipping a backhanded shot past Petersen and into the net after a cross-ice pass from teammate Adam Henrique. It was the Ducks’ first short-handed goal of the season.
Kempe narrowed the Kings’ deficit to 4-3 with a power-play goal at 16:28 of the second, his second goal of the game. Rakell scored his second of the game to restore the Ducks’ two-goal lead at 18:15, the second time in as many games the Ducks scored five times.
The Ducks then went to work trying to protect their two-goal lead to start the third period, and they had to do it without forward Troy Terry (upper body) and defenseman Josh Manson (lower body). Manson returned to the lineup Friday after a 20-game absence because of a strained oblique.
Naturally, since leads and the Ducks haven’t been on the best of terms this season, the Kings got to within 5-4 on Andreas Athanasiou’s unassisted goal only 1:18 into the third period. It set up a nerve-jangling conclusion for the rivals. The Ducks gave up two-goal leads in each of their past two games.
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