Kings beat Ducks to get off to good start under new coach Willie Desjardins

  • Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar (11) controls the puck in front of Anaheim Ducks forward Kiefer Sherwood (64) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford (13) celebrates his goal against Anaheim Ducks with teammates on the bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

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  • Los Angeles Kings celebrate after Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford (not in picture) scoring on Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks’ forward Richard Rakell (67) and Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis (22) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Kings goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes a save next to Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique (14) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) stops a shot by Los Angeles Kings forward Nate Thompson (44) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford (13) battles for the puck against Anaheim Ducks defensemen Cam Fowler (4) and Andy Welinski (45) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Kings forward Ilya Kovalchuk, right, celebrates his goal against Anaheim Ducks with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Kings forward Ilya Kovalchuk (17) celebrates after scoring on Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

  • The Kings’ Dustin Brown celebrates after scoring the first goal of the night – on a power play – in front of Ducks goaltender John Gibson during the first period of Tuesday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Jakob Silfverberg #33 of the Anaheim Ducks skates over the blue line with the puck as he is checked by Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings moves the puck along the boards from Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Jack Campbell #36 of the Los Angeles Kings makes a save during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings checks Kiefer Sherwood #64 of the Anaheim Ducks off the puck during the first period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Kiefer Sherwood #64 of the Anaheim Ducks stick handles from Matt Luff #64 of the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates his goal past John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks to take a 3-0 lead during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks reacts to a goal from Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-0 lead during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Los Angeles Kings one times a shot to score a goal in front of Jacob Larsson #32 of the Anaheim Ducks, to take a 3-0 lead, during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Kyle Clifford #13 of the Los Angeles Kings looks for the puck in front of a fallen Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks makes a glove save in front of Trevor Lewis #22 of the Los Angeles Kings and Andy Welinski #45 during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings breaks in past Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Willie Desjardins of the Los Angeles Kings behind the bench as the interhim head coach during the second period at Staples Center on November 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES — Often times a team comes out hard and fast after its coach has been fired because a struggling team embraces any change that can improve its fortunes.

The Kings, who fired John Stevens as their coach on Sunday and replaced him with Willie Desjardins, squared off with the Ducks on Tuesday night.

Not only do the rival Ducks dislike the Kings as much as the Kings dislike them, but the Ducks are also looking to turn around a season that so far has been mired in mediocrity.

For the Kings, Tuesday night was a good start under Desjardins. They scored twice in the first period, once in the second and once in the third and defeated the Ducks 4-1 at Staples Center.

The Kings are 5-8-1 (11 points). The Ducks are 6-7-3 (15 points).

Dustin Brown gave the Kings a 1-0 lead when he scored 18 seconds into a power play at 6:25 of the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk passed the puck in front of the net from a harsh angle. Brown, whose net-front presence was missed when he sat out the first 10 games with a broken finger, was there again and knocked the puck past Ducks goalie John Gibson.

It was the third goal of the season for Brown, with Kovalcuk and Jeff Carter earning the assists.

A little over four minutes later, Tanner Pearson took a long shot that was saved by Gibson. Gibson, on his knees, bent over in pain. He stayed in the game, but he was scored upon again – at 13:22 – when Kyle Clifford tallied his second of the season for a 2-0 Kings lead.

The Ducks turned over the puck in the neutral zone. Trevor Lewis got the puck to Alec Martinez, who was speeding down the right side. Clifford, going down the middle, took a sweet pass from Martinez and smacked in the puck to the right of Gibson.

Martinez and Lewis had the assists.

The Kings killed both of their penalties in the period.

The Kings added to their lead at 4:54 of the second period on Ilya Kovalchuk’s fifth goal of the season. Goalie Jack Campbell easily gathered in a shot from distance and instead of dumping it off to a teammate in the vicinity, he unleashed a long pass that Tyler Toffoli gathered at the offensive blue line. Toffoli whipped a pass to Kovalchuk coming down the pipe, and he blasted it past Gibson for a 3-0 lead. Campbell and Toffoli had the assists.

The Ducks fought back. At 13:21, Ryan Kesler scored his fourth goal of the season to get Anaheim within 3-1. Assists went to Marcus Pettersson and Brandon Montour.

As that play was unfolding, Ducks forward Brian Gibbons went down to the ice after being smacked in the nose. Kings forward Jeff Carter pushed Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano into his teammate, Gibbons leaving blood on the ice.

About 4½ minutes into the third period, Kings fans roared when defenseman Jake Muzzin leveled Ducks forward Kiefer Sherwood with a massive check.

Toffoli added an empty-net goal at 17:54 for the game’s final score. It was No. 4 for him.

More to come on this story.

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