Willsie’s goal lifts Kings over Ducks in NHL’s preseason opener

The Ducks played at Honda Center for the first time since June 6, when they beat the Ottawa Senators 6-2 in Game 5 of the finals and became the first team from California to win an NHL title.

This was the first of seven preseason games they will play in an 11-day span before leaving for London, where they will start the season with a pair of games against the Kings.

Southern California’s other team has only four more dress rehearsals against NHL clubs before making a side trip to Salzberg, Austria, for two more exhibition games. After their two-game set with the Ducks in England, the next meeting between the teams will be Nov. 13 in Anaheim.

Gabe Gauthier and Matt Moulson each had a goal and an assist for the Kings, with both teams dressing more prospects than veterans. Maxim Kondratiev, Mike Hoffman, Dan LaCouture and Jason King scored for Anaheim.

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Dan Cloutier gave up three goals on 10 shots and stopped a short-handed breakaway by Todd Marchant about 6 minutes into the game.

Bryzgalov gave up four goals on 18 shots. Both starting goalies were replaced midway through the second period with the Kings leading 4-3. Backups Jean-Sebatien Aubin and J.P. Levasseur played the rest of the way.

The Ducks and Kings split the eight-game season series in 2006-07, with seven of the games decided by one-goal margins.

With a crowd of 16,973 looking on, Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger was assessed four minor penalties – one of which resulted in a power-play goal by Moulson that helped the Kings build a 3-1 lead through one period. Gauthier’s goal came just 3 seconds after Pronger’s hooking penalty expired, and Calder got his second goal 9 seconds after the Ducks killed off Pronger’s interference penalty.