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Hedstrom Does Trick for Ducks

Forward comes up with his first three-goal game, and the first for the Ducks this season, to help Anaheim defeat the Kings, 6-2, at the Pond.

January 10, 2006|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Neither the Kings nor the Mighty Ducks had met expectations as they congregated at the Arrowhead Pond on Monday night at the midway point of the season.

The Ducks were considered a certain playoff team by many preseason prognosticators but are sitting on the outside looking in after a disappointing first half. The Kings have surpassed all their forecasts by surging to first place in the Pacific Division.

Nothing went as expected in the third meeting between the rivals this season. The Kings played a fair share of matador defense and the Ducks got the first hat trick of Jonathan Hedstrom's career in rolling to a 6-2 victory in front an announced sellout crowd of 17,174.

It was also the first three-goal game by any Duck this season as they defeated the Kings for the first time with three more meetings between the teams this month.

The Kings have lost consecutive games for only the second time this season. The last time they did it was Nov. 28-Dec. 3, when they lost a season-high four in a row and the six goals given up tied a season high. They lost to Phoenix, 6-5, in overtime on Dec. 29.

"We can't be giving up six goals on 27 shots," Coach Andy Murray said. "Their goalie was better than ours tonight. But to tell you the truth, I'm more concerned about the offense. We got 43 shots and only two goals."

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere had a hand in that by making 41 saves. But the night belonged to Hedstrom, a 28-year-old forward playing his first full season in the NHL after spending the last two years in his native Sweden.

Hedstrom capped his three-goal night in the third period when he finished off a two-on-one with Joffrey Lupul to send a shower of caps to the Pond ice for the first time this season.

"I was shaking after the third one," Hedstrom said. "It's big to do it in the NHL."

Hedstrom scored consecutive goals in the second period against goalie Mathieu Garon to break the game open. After playing mostly on a checking line this season, the left wing was moved to a line Monday with Lupul and Todd Marchant.

The Ducks took advantage of an injury-plagued King team as they had numerous odd-man rushes. Holding a 3-2 lead late in the second, Lupul stayed after the puck behind the net and fed Marchant in front. Marchant's shot was stopped by Garon but Hedstrom pounced on the rebound for his second goal in the period.

The Ducks displayed more of that persistent play in the third. Teemu Selanne got loose on the right flank and missed wide on a backhand but he grabbed the puck off the boards and fed a quick pass to Chris Kunitz, who banged in his seventh goal.

"Every time they came into the zone, it seems like they got a great chance," Garon said.

After coming home following discouraging losses at Dallas and Minnesota, the Ducks shook up their roster by trading left wing Petr Sykora and recalling rookie forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry from their minor league affiliate at Portland, Maine.

Getzlaf gave them an immediate lift early in the opening period when he circled around the left side and put a wrist shot past Garon for his first goal as a Duck since Nov. 12.

While at Portland, the two linemates combined for 24 goals and 43 assists over a 19-game span.

"Hopefully both of us can stick around for a while and not have to go back down to Portland," Perry said.

Craig Conroy tied the score, 1-1, with his 17th goal on a one-timer in the slot past Giguere on the stick side after getting a nice pass from Sean Avery.

Avery contributed on the scoresheet for the second consecutive game since being moved onto the top line while leading scorer Pavol Demitra is out because of a leg injury. Conroy has a point in 11 consecutive games.

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