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Bonino's hat trick leads Ducks past rival LA Kings

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Bonino's hat trick leads Ducks past rival LA Kings

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Nick Bonino scored his third goal on a power play with 11:21 to play, and the surging Anaheim Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 7-4 Saturday night in the first Freeway Faceoff of the season.

Bonino scored two goals in the first six minutes to chase Jonathan Quick before completing his first career hat trick against Jonathan Bernier.

Kyle Palmieri scored the tiebreaking power-play goal, and Teemu Selanne put his 666th career goal into an empty net to cap another powerful offensive game by the Ducks, who have won five of seven to start the season.

Captain Dustin Brown scored two power-play goals for the Kings, who struggled in their first game at Honda Center as the defending Stanley Cup champions. Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams also scored, but the Kings never led while dropping to 2-3-2.

Quick yielded Bonino's two goals on the Ducks' first three shots before coach Darryl Sutter pulled him 5:49 in for Bernier, who stopped 17 shots in his season debut. Bonino picked up an assist on Selanne's goal for his first career four-point performance.

Emerson Etem, Bobby Ryan and Luca Sbisa each had two assists for Anaheim, and captain Ryan Getzlaf and Sheldon Souray also scored. Jonas Hiller stopped 30 shots in his first victory since Jan. 21 for the Ducks, who lost defenseman Cam Fowler in the second period to an upper-body injury on a hit by Stoll.

Anaheim missed the playoffs last spring before the eighth-seeded Kings rolled to their first Stanley Cup triumph. The Ducks won California's first NHL title in 2007, and their fans had taken to chanting ``Stanley Cup! Stanley Cup!'' at the Kings faithful in nearly every rivalry meeting - a chant that just won't work anymore.

Los Angeles won five of the six meetings last season. The Freeway Faceoff series features only four meetings in this lockout-shortened season, but the first was a beauty filled with big hits, chippy play, aggressive offense and power-play proficiency from both teams.

Thousands of jersey-wearing Los Angeles fans made the short trip down the I-5 freeway, filling the arena with Kings chants from the opening faceoff. But Bonino filled the Kings' net with goals, scoring 2 1/2 minutes in and doing it again a few minutes later when he somehow looped a backward shot underneath Quick's pads and stick while falling face-first on the ice facing the wrong way.

Etem had assists on both of Bonino's goals, the first points for the Long Beach, Calif., native who made his NHL debut last Tuesday.

Although the Kings' next game isn't until Tuesday in Columbus, Sutter swiftly pulled his Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie for the first time all season. Bernier, the former first-round pick who apparently made a trade request in the offseason, had watched Los Angeles' first six games from the bench.

Although Los Angeles' power play has been the NHL's worst, Brown easily scored the Kings' third man-advantage goal of the season later in the period. Stoll evened it 34 seconds later.

Souray put the Ducks up 4-3 with a rocket of a slap shot during a power play later in the period. After Williams tied it with his first goal of the season, Palmieri followed up his two-goal performance Friday night against Minnesota with a one-timer in the slot off a pass from Saku Koivu.

NOTES: Bonino is the 14th Anaheim player to record one of the Ducks' 39 hat tricks in franchise history. ... With two power-play goals, Brown caught and passed NHL scoring king Wayne Gretzky for seventh place in Kings history. Brown has 63 man-advantage goals in 602 games. Gretzky had 62 in 539 games with Los Angeles. ... The Kings hadn't scored a road power-play goal this season, going 0 for 18.

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Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

There appears to be at least some chance the Wizards will be without starting small forward Otto Porter when they host the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of their first round playoff series on Friday night in Washington.

Porter, 24, continues to deal with a right lower leg strain. The injury is located on the outside of his calf and will require further testing from the Wizards' medical staff to determine his status.

Head coach Scott Brooks addressed the media on Thursday and did not rule out an MRI.

"We don't know as of yet, but he's banged up. So, hopefully we will find out some good news and see how he feels tomorrow," Brooks said.

Porter first suffered the injury on April 10 against the Celtics in the Wizards' penultimate regular season game. He missed the regular season finale, but has appeared in all five games of the Wizards-Raptors series.

Brooks did not make it seem likely that Porter will miss Game 6, but expressed uncertainty.

"Anything is possible," he said. "We hope for the best."

Porter appeared hobbled in Game 5 and has at other times this series as well. After the first two games of the series, Brooks was asked about Porter's health and said that he was "100 percent." It's unclear if Porter suffered a setback in the time between, but clearly that isn't the case anymore.

Porter is averaging just 10.0 points in this series, down from his 14.7 per game season average. Ideally, the Wizards would be getting more than that from their third scoring option.

"We need Otto," Brooks said. "We need Otto to be more of a nine or 10-point scorer for us to win this series."

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If this year is going to be different, the Caps cannot go down 0-2 in the series again

If this year is going to be different, the Caps cannot go down 0-2 in the series again

In last year’s playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals won two out of the last three games and three out of the last five…and still lost the series. That’s because they lost both Game 1 and Game 2 to fall into a 0-2 hole, much like they did against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round this season.

The Caps know if this year is going to be different, they cannot afford to fall into a similar hole again.

“It's always harder to dig yourself out of a hole,” head coach Barry Trotz said after Thursday’s morning skate. “You're room for error is a lot less and it wears on you.”

“If we've learned anything from last year, you lose two it's tough to climb out of that,” Jay Beagle said. “Then this year first round, lose two, it's tough to climb out. It makes the series really hard. You always feel like you're chasing and no room for error.”

It did not cost them against Columbus as Washington was able to rattle off four straight wins to advance to the second round. Overcoming a two-game hole against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions, however, is a taller task.

For only the second time in franchise history, the Capitals were able to overcome a 0-2 series deficit when they did it against the Blue Jackets. That means it doesn’t happen very often.

Chances are you won’t be able to overcome a deficit like that against Sidney Crosby and Co.

And that’s what makes Game 1 so important.

Washington is at home, opening a series against their arch rival, the Penguins will be without both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin and the game will be played with the memory of how a 0-2 hole cost the Caps the series last year.

To call it a must-win would perhaps be an overstatement. It is a best of seven after all. But it’s still not that far off.

“We've got to just make sure we're looking at game one, we're not looking ahead,” Beagle said. “We've got to go after them in this first game and really try and take it to them in our rink.”

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