With their Stanley Cup title defence beginning on the other side of the Atlantic, the Anaheim Ducks looked like they left their penalty killing at home.
The Ducks allowed three power-play goals and failed to get their own attack going until it was too late, falling 4-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL season opener Saturday in London, England.
The Kings' Mike Cammalleri celebrates scoring the first goal of the 2007-08 NHL season Saturday in London, England.
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mike Cammalleri scored twice with the man advantage and Rob Blake had a power-play goal of his own for L.A. Michal Handzus added a short-handed empty-netter to seal the win.
"I love London," Cammalleri said. "It was good to us tonight."
Kings rookie goalie Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first NHL appearance.
"It's pretty amazing," Blake said of Bernier's play. "I think it's a calming effect he
has on all of us. The way he plays is very calm, he doesn't really move too much. The puck just seems to hit him. And that carries over to all of us."
Bobby Ryan had a power-play goal for Anaheim, which didn't get on the board until less than seven minutes remained in the third period.
"We made a decision last November, December to participate in this," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, who has hinted he wasn't thrilled with the idea of starting the season overseas. "The players voted and the managers had their chance to say yea or nay and we're living by that decision."
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 17 shots for the Ducks in place of the injured Jean-Sebastien Giguère. Anaheim's No. 1 goalie is still recovering from an off-season sports-hernia operation and hopes to play when the Ducks return to the U.S. for three road games beginning Wednesday.
The NHL's first regular-season game in Europe got off to a rocky start as the contest was delayed 16 minutes due to a lights malfunction following the American and British national anthems at the new O2 Arena.
"I wasn't nervous," said Bernier, surrounded by reporters in the Kings dressing room after the game. "I just kept my focus. It was a long time I had to wait."
Once the game finally got going, Cammalleri potted the first goal of the 2007-08 season on a 5-on-3 power play, beating Bryzgalov with a one-timer 8:35 into the first period.
Blake made it 2-0 on another Kings power play midway through the second, tapping a loose puck behind Bryzgalov after the Ducks goalie stopped a one-time blast from Anze Kopitar.
Cammalleri's second power-play goal — a deflection of a Tom Preissing point shot — gave L.A. a commanding three-goal lead just over a minute into the third period.
Ryan snapped Bernier's shutout bid at 13:09 of the third, backhanding a rebound from Chris Pronger's point shot past the Kings goalie.
The teams will meet again at O2 Arena on Sunday (12 p.m. ET) before flying home.
The NHL's North American slate opens with four games on Wednesday.With files from the Canadian Press