Photo of the Game
Official Ducks log of the game - Link
Sports Network coverage via the OC Register
Kings kick off NHL season with win over Ducks in London
London, England (Sports Network) - Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first career start as the Los Angeles Kings defeated Anaheim, the defending Stanley Cup champions, 4-1, at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Bernier, the Kings' first round pick (11th overall) in the 2006 draft, made seven saves in the first period and 10 in the second before letting up a goal late in the third to ruin the shutout bid.
"I saw the puck well today, but I have to give my defense credit," said Bernier. "It's nice to start off the season with a win and hopefully we can build on this and have some success."
This was the first of two games the Ducks and Kings will play in London, as the NHL is playing regular season games in Europe for the first time ever. The finale will be played on Sunday at 12 p.m. (et).
Michael Cammalleri had two power-play goals while Rob Blake also scored a power-play goal for the Kings, who had lost their last three season openers. Anze Kopitar had two assists in the win.
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LA Times coverage of the game
A fragmented sports crowd dressed in every jersey from Kings to Ducks to Hurricanes to Red Wings to Rangers to Devils to Flames to Maple Leafs to Belfast Giants to Sheffield Steelers to Boehringer Mannheim to something having to do with Slovakia, finally settled on a theme Saturday night.
"Let's go, Ducks!" they began chanting five minutes to closing.
In their wish for a photo finish, they tried to help a reigning Stanley Cup champion against a minnow, and they showed how inverted things got in the O2 Arena in Europe's first NHL regular-season game.
The mighty Ducks got snuffed, the puppy Kings got going with a 4-1 win, and the elder 25-year-old Michael Cammalleri got downright amorous.
"I love London," he said flatly after two power-play goals -- his singing one-timer in the first period that zinged past Ilya Bryzgalov's right shoulder, and his nudging tip-in in the third that floated over Bryzgalov's left.
For one game out of 82 and one of two in the O2, the Kings fancied London even when it malfunctioned. Shortly after the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Save The Queen," in that oddly inverse order, came an announcement: "Our sincere apologies, there has been a failure of the lighting system that will take five minutes to repair."
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The Canadian Press has their coverage
Maybe they got tired of playing second fiddle.
Mike Cammalleri scored twice and rookie Jonathan Bernier sparkled in his first-ever NHL start as the Kings dumped the defending champion Anaheim Ducks 4-1 in the opening game of the 2007-08 season.
The two clubs meet again Sunday at the new 02 Arena.
Captain Rob Blake and Michal Handzus also scored for the Kings, who used three power-play goals to beat a Ducks squad missing several key faces from last year's Cup side.
Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne remain undecided on their playing futures while goalie J.S. Giguere and key checking forward Samuel Pahlsson continue to recover from sport hernia surgeries.
Bobby Ryan scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game for Anaheim, who outshot the Kings 27-21.
The first-ever regular-season game played in Europe was 16 minutes delayed because of a lights malfunction. It didn't seem to bother the fans, who got the wave going during the delay, dancing and singing while the music blared.
It was a mixed crowd - clearly some ex-pats from Canada on hand as well as some curious locals. The NHL's 30 teams were well-represented in the crowd with jerseys from almost every club worn.
The sellout crowd didn't get treated to a classic, however, the hockey at times raggedy and sloppy, more representative of a pre-season game than the real thing.
Bernier was the surprise starter over Jason LaBarbera, Kings coach Marc Crawford acknowledging the 19-year-old's terrific training camp. He was solid in the first period during a 5-on-3 power play for the Ducks and made his best save early in the third period, denying Corey Perry on a breakaway.
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The Press Enterprise has their coverage
The Royal Navy would be proud.
Arriving by boat with their cannons firing, the Kings quickly sank the Ducks, 4-1, in the opening game of the NHL season before a sellout crowd of 17,551 at O2 Arena on Saturday.
Mike Cammalleri had a pair of goals and 19-year-old goalie Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves for the Kings, who will try to sweep the two-game set in England when the teams meet again today.
"I love London, it was good to us tonight," Cammalleri said. "It felt like a North American hockey crowd."
The winning effort by the Kings actually began with a decidedly different trip to the rink.
Facing some tricky logistics in making their way to the peninsula where the O2 Arena is located, the Kings opted to take a boat from their hotel.
"I don't remember riding a boat down a river to get to a hockey game," Rob Blake said. "That was our format tonight."
Victory by sea and the London debut certainly agreed with the Kings.
AnaheimDuckFan adds her thoughts
The NHL Season opened today in London, England with the Stanley Cup Champions Anaheim Ducks facing the Los Angeles Kings.
The game started out on the wrong foot. The players were brought out and the Anthem were sung, but the lights wouldn’t come on. The players returned to the respective lockerrooms. A little after 5:30 (½ hour late) the game finally started.
The game had several penalties for each team. Too many in my opinion. At 8:35 Michael Cammalleri scored on the PP to give the Kings the first goal. Somewhere in the first Sean O’Donnell got possession of the puck and turned it around and shot it directly at Bryz. Luckily for Sean, Bryz stopped the puck. Hello...do you need a reminder that you now play on the Ducks not the Kings!!
10:15 into the second Rob Blake scored to give the Kings the 2 goal lead. Other than that goal...there was penalties.
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Some Fan posted their photos to Flickr
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Anaheim Ducks Official Gallery