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Kesler's OT Goal Sends Ducks Past Kings, 3-2

ANAHEIM (AP) — Ryan Kesler scored 45 seconds into overtime, and the Anaheim Ducks rallied from another third-period deficit for a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night in the final Freeway Faceoff meeting of the regular season.

Patrick Maroon and Jakob Silfverberg scored third-period goals for the Ducks, who took four of five in this lively rivalry. John Gibson made 29 saves as Anaheim took sole possession of the overall NHL lead with 97 points after rallying for its NHL-best 12th comeback victory when trailing after two periods this season.

Justin Williams scored the tying goal with 4:18 left for the Kings, who still took sole possession of third place in the Pacific Division. The defending Stanley Cup champions have earned points in seven of eight games down the stretch.

Jeff Carter scored his 25th goal on a first-period power play, and Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots as the Kings improved their hold on a playoff spot despite losing another hard-fought matchup with their local rivals.

Anaheim trailed 1-0 entering the third. After Williams forced OT, Kesler ended it when he was left untouched by Los Angeles' defense and fired a hard shot past Quick for his 200th NHL goal, including 18 in his first season in Anaheim.

All five victories in this season's Freeway Faceoff were comeback wins, and the matchup could extend to the postseason for the second straight year if the Kings end up in a wild-card spot. While the Ducks are cruising toward their third straight Pacific Division title, the Kings have spent a month fighting for a position.

Carter opened the scoring on a power play created by Kings captain Dustin Brown, who leveled Anaheim star Corey Perry at mid-ice with the type of hard shoulder check that's typical in this series.

The hit set off a melee that ended with an extra minor penalty for the retaliating Ducks, and Carter capitalized with a booming shot on Anze Kopitar's drop pass. Carter has 25 goals for the seventh time in his 10-season NHL career.

After a scoreless second period, Maroon finished an exceptional stretch of puck movement by the Ducks to tie it. James Wisniewski faked a shot and got it to captain Ryan Getzlaf, who slid a pass in front of Quick for Maroon's first goal in 13 games since Feb. 18.

Silfverberg then put the Ducks ahead after a stretch of thrilling end-to-end action, jumping on the rebound of Andrew Cogliano's shot in the slot for his 12th goal.

Gibson made several big saves down the stretch, but Williams tied it when he slipped in front of Gibson and buried a pass from Jake Muzzin for his 18th goal.

NOTES: Ducks D Sami Vatanen missed his 15th straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Tomas Fleischmann returned to Anaheim's lineup after sitting out last weekend as a healthy scratch. He replaced Jiri Sekac, who was a healthy scratch for the first time since arriving in a trade with Montreal. ... Kings D Alec Martinez missed his 18th straight game with an apparent concussion, although Los Angeles' playoff hero is skating daily. C Jarret Stoll also missed his second straight game.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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