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Cam Fowler impresses in Ducks' 2-0 win over Kings

Rookie defenseman, who turns 19 on Sunday, scores on a second-period power play to get the Ducks rolling.

November 29, 2010|By Mike DiGiovanna

He's only 26 games into his NHL career, and he doesn't turn 19 until Sunday, but the Ducks are already expecting big things from Cam Fowler, their rookie defenseman and the 12th overall pick in last June's draft.

"This Fowler kid, he's going to win the Norris Trophy one day," Ducks veteran Teemu Selanne said, referring to the award given to the league's best defenseman. "He has all the tools. It's amazing to watch an 18-year-old kid dominate this game. It's unbelievable."

Those tools were on display Monday night, as Fowler ended a scoreless tie with a second-period power-play goal to send the Ducks toward a 2-0 victory over the Kings, the Ducks' first shutout of their cross-town rivals since Nov. 16, 2008.

Jonas Hiller stopped 27 shots in the Honda Center, including a spectacular glove save of Anze Kopitar's flick from the crease with 3 minutes 19 seconds to play to preserve a 1-0 lead, for his first shutout of the season and seventh of his career.

Selanne returned from a three-game absence because of a groin strain to energize the Ducks' second line, and he teamed with Jason Blake on a two-on-one break that resulted in Blake's victory-sealing goal with 2:24 to play in the third period.

The Kings pulled goalie Jonathan Quick after Ducks forward Corey Perry drew a holding penalty with 1:12 left, giving them a six-on-four advantage.

But the Ducks, as they did on a penalty kill earlier in the period, kept the Kings off the scoreboard with a mixture of blocked shots — Toni Lydman had four in the game, and Andy Sutton had three — and clearances.

"That's the type of game our club has to play night in and out," Coach Randy Carlyle said. "We won a big game and got great efforts from the whole group. The true display was at the end of the game, when people were sacrificing bodies to block shots and protect the shutout for Jonas Hiller."

Hiller, though, was thoroughly exposed late in the third period, when the Justin Williams dislodged the puck from Fowler behind the net and flipped a pass to Kopitar in the crease. But Hiller snagged Kopitar's point-blank effort with his glove.

"It was a bang-bang play," Hiller said. "I saw him and tried to come out. It was a reaction thing, and I read it off the blade. I was kind of lucky. We finally got a bounce to go our way."

The Ducks also caught a break in the second when, a mere eight seconds after Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's tripping penalty expired at the 12:33 mark, Doughty came out of the box and tripped Perry at mid-ice for another penalty, giving the Ducks a power play.

Seven seconds later, Fowler's 40-foot wrist shot from the right side through traffic beat Quick on the stick side. It was Fowler's second goal of the season.

Selanne, who won a faceoff in the right circle, was credited with an assist, as was Lubomir Visnovsky, who passed to Fowler.

About a minute later, Hiller preserved the lead when he stonewalled Kopitar, who took a crossing pass from Wayne Simmonds in the crease but was unable to stuff his shot past Hiller.

Hiller also withstood a flurry of shots on a Kings power play that came after Perry's interference call at the 14:22 mark.

"He made some key saves and some great saves and some timely saves," Blake said of Hiller. "They really took it to us at times, and Jonas bailed us out."

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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