Ducks goalie Jeff Deslauriers, left, stops a shot as Kings forward Dustin… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
The Kings saw few familiar names in the Ducks' lineup Sunday and figured they would romp.
"It's maybe nature of any guys, we look at the lineup and think they got a 'B' team right now and they don't have their best players and maybe things are going to be easier," Kings winger Simon Gagne said.
Think again. Though the Ducks did not bring their top line or No. 1 goaltender to Staples Center, they brought tenacity that became the backbone of a 3-1 exhibition victory over the lackluster Kings.
Ducks goalie Jeff Deslauriers, ticketed for Syracuse of the American Hockey League, stopped 32 shots as the Kings (1-1-1) searched for chemistry within their top three lines.
"They came in with a lunch-bucket gang and worked hard and see what happens," Kings right wing Justin Williams said. "We're not sharp yet. We're just not playing the game. We're thinking a little too much out there."
The Ducks were diligent all over the ice and dominant down low. Kyle Palmieri redirected a shot past Jonathan Quick at 2:45 of the second period after Maxime Macenauer dug the puck out of the corner, Andrew Gordon scored on a backhander at 19:20 off the rebound of a shot by Andrew Cogliano, and Patrick Maroon corralled the puck behind the net and stuffed it home at 19:31.
"They had a fairly strong lineup dressed. I think our guys took it more as a challenge that we weren't going to out-skill them," said Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle, whose team has won two straight games after three poor efforts.
Andrei Loktionov, enhancing his chances of making the roster, scored the Kings' goal at 5:43 of the third period, sprung on a breakaway by a fine pass from Jarret Stoll.
But there were few other bright spots. Enforcer Kevin Westgarth took a punch to the head early in the second period and was held out afterward on the advice of medical personnel. He is scheduled to be reevaluated Monday.
And the power play was scoreless in six chances and is two for 19 in three games.
"We looked out of sorts for the first half of the game," Kings Coach Terry Murray said. "The first period we were having a difficult time passing, receiving, getting organized. … We're going to work through this thing."
Ducks forward J.F. Jacques served an automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of the Ducks' game Saturday at Vancouver. He came onto the ice for a line change and started a fight with Vancouver's Mike Duco. …
The Ducks assigned center Mark Bell, defenseman Mathieu Carle, right wing Matt Kennedy, defenseman Jake Newton and center Rick Schofield to Syracuse of the AHL. They also returned forward Emerson Etem of Long Beach to his junior team, Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League. …
The Kings sent defensemen Nicolas Deslauriers, David Kolomatis and Patrick Mullen, left wings Andy Andreoff and Ray Kaunisto, right wings Brandon Kozun and Linden Vey and goaltender Martin Jones to Manchester of the AHL. Tyler Toffoli was reassigned to his junior team, Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League.
Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this report.