Ducks' Frederik Andersen stays perfect against Kings, wins Game 3

Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) takes a shot against Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen during first...

Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) takes a shot against Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen during first period action in Game 3 of their second round playoff series in Los Angeles Thursday, May 8, 2014. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:06 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Bruce Boudreau pulled the old bait and switch Thursday night.

While the Anaheim Ducks head coach was fielding questions on the possible insertion of defenceman Sami Vatanen and forward Kyle Palmieri into the lineup for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Kings, the thought of starting goaltender Frederik Andersen was never broached.

It probably should have been.

Needing a victory to keep from falling into a 3-0 series hole, Boudreau went with the percentages in starting Andersen, which paid off in a 3-2 victory over the Kings.

The win pulled the Ducks back in the series, now trailing 2-1 with Game 4 taking place Saturday (9:30 EST) at the Staples Center.

“We had been in this situation before. Against Dallas we won the first two games and they were able to come in and beat us pretty handily in the third game,” said defenceman Ben Lovejoy, who scored the eventual game winner. “It plants the seed of doubt and that was our goal (Thursday). We wanted to come out with a 60-minute effort, which we absolutely did. We played a very smart game and that’s what we need to do against a very solid team like the Kings.”

Andersen made 22 saves in the win, before being forced to leave the game with a leg injury midway through the third period.

The rookie has yet to lose to the Kings, beating Los Angeles three times during the regular season, twice at Staples Center. Jonas Hiller had never won in Los Angeles.

“It doesn’t matter who is net and who is in the lineup, we have a strong, deep team,” said Ducks winger Corey Perry, who scored the opening goal of the game. “Those are the things that we use to our advantage. We have different guys in the lineup all the time, different goalies, it doesn’t matter who’s back there, we’re full of confidence with them and we play the same way, whoever is in there.”

Teemu Selanne also scored for the Ducks in the win, while Jeff Carter and Mike Richards countered for the Kings. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves in a losing cause.

“I told the boys even when we were down 2-0, to enjoy it, this is time to enjoy it,” said Selanne. “When every inch matters, every hit, every shift. Hopefully this was a good momentum change and it’ll give us confidence heading into the future.”

Despite outshooting the Kings 37-17 in Game 2 of the series Monday, the Ducks felt they needed better finishing around the net.

They also felt they needed to score first, with the Kings most comfortable playing with the lead.

Perry scored the all-important first goal, connecting on the power play from in close four minutes into the opening period.

Perry took a pass from Patrick Maroon in the slot and fired a shot past Quick.

“It was a very nice play by Patrick,” Perry said. “It’s something we’ve been working on, he’s got a couple of moves down there and it worked out great.”

It was the sixth consecutive playoff game Maroon has collected a point. He’s only gone two games this post-season without getting on the score sheet.

Carter tied the game for the Kings in the second, on a similar play to the Ducks’ opener.

The Kings centre took a pass from Marian Gaborik in the slot on the power play and snapped a shot past Andersen, who improved his playoff record to 4-2.

Selanne restored the lead for the Ducks with just under five minutes left in the second period, the beneficiary of an impressive pass from Nick Bonino at the tail end of a power play.

In the third, Andersen was forced to leave the game after going down awkwardly making a save. He seemed to be favouring his right leg as he was helped off the ice.

Hiller came into the game with just under 10 minutes left, and despite some shaky moments was able to hold off the Kings.

Lovejoy’s goal with just under three minutes left helped relieved the tension. The Ducks defenceman jumped into an odd-man rush, took a pass from Andrew Cogliano and snapped a shot over Quick. The goal was Lovejoy’s second of the playoffs.

Richards pulled the Kings to within one with 30 seconds left, batting a rebound past Hiller. The goal came moments after Perry broke his stick shooting at an open net with Quick on the bench for the extra attacker.

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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