Ducks hold off LA Kings 4-2 in 1st rivalry meeting of season
ANAHEIM (AP) — Something was missing from the first Freeway Faceoff of the season. Although the game had plenty of goals and a few big hits, this series’ usual pugnaciousness and belligerence was mostly nowhere to be seen.
Anaheim Ducks coach Dallas Eakins even told his staff afterward: “Whoa, what a rivalry. There were six minutes in penalties.”
The Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are both too busy trying to crawl up from the bottom of the Pacific Division standings to get into any major drama, and Anaheim took a solid step at its archrivals’ expense.
Derek Grant scored two goals, Ryan Miller made 34 saves and the Ducks beat the Kings 4-2 Monday night.
Jakob Silfverberg scored his team-leading 10th goal, Hampus Lindholm tied his career high with three assists, and Carter Rowney had a goal and an assist as the Ducks won for just the third time in 13 games.
The 145th regular-season meeting of Southern California’s NHL teams arrived at a low point for both franchises. The Kings are mired in last place for the second straight season despite a recent run of solid play, while the Ducks began the night only two points above them in seventh.
“We just treat it like a normal NHL game we want to win, but there’s a little something there,” Miller said. “There’s pride. I’ve lived in both areas, so I definitely want to win.”
And though there were no major shenanigans, the two head coaches getting their first taste of the rivalry could see what might develop in their four ensuing meetings this season.
“I still see it there,” Eakins said. “You saw a little bit of jawing out there, and that’s never going to go away.”
After jumping to an early 3-1 lead, Anaheim hung on through a tense third period with a few big saves from Miller, who filled in for an ailing John Gibson, before Grant scored an empty-net goal from center ice with 38 seconds left. Grant and Rowney chipped in with three goals from the Ducks’ fourth line.
“As a team, when you’re struggling to score goals, you’re going to take them from anywhere,” Grant said.
Kurtis MacDermid and rookie Nikolai Prokhorkin scored for the last-place Kings, who have lost four of six. Jack Campbell stopped 16 shots, but his teammates couldn’t catch up in a lively derby.
Barnes, Alexander reach deals with Dodgers, who cut García
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Catcher Austin Barnes agreed to a $1.1 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who also reached an $875,000 deal with left-hander Scott Alexander on Monday.
Los Angeles failed to offer a 2020 contract to Yimi García, allowing the right-hander to become a free agent.
Barnes, who turns 30 on Dec. 28, hit .203 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 242 plate appearances. His 64 games behind the plate led the team as he shared time with Russell Martin and Will Smith. Barnes is a veteran of five major league seasons, all with Los Angeles. He also spent time at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year, where he was used occasionally at second base.
Alexander, 30, was 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA over 28 relief appearances in his second season with the Dodgers.
García, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 1-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 64 relief appearances.
Los Angeles has nine players still eligible for arbitration, including NL MVP Cody Bellinger, shortstop Corey Seager, infielder Max Muncy and outfielder Joc Pederson.
Padres acquire switch-hitting infielder Profar from A’s
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Switch-hitting second baseman Jurickson Profar was acquired by the San Diego Padres from the Oakland Athletics on Monday for catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named.
In his lone season with the A’s, Profar matched his career high with 20 home runs and batted .218 with 67 RBIs over 139 games.
He provides versatility to play other infield positions as well as the outfield.
Profar was acquired from AL West rival Texas last year. The 26-year-old agreed to a $5.7 million, one-year contract after the trade to avoid arbitration.
Allen, 25, played in 34 games during three 2019 stints with the Padres for his first major league experience. A fourth-round draft pick by the Padres in 2015, he batted .215 with four doubles and three RBIs while striking out 21 times to his six walks. Allen also made his debut at the Triple-A level last season and has hit 20 or more home runs in each of his last three seasons in the minors.
In addition, infielder Greg Garcia agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year deal that avoided arbitration.