Saturday night’s game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings is one that Anaheim Ducks center Nick Bonino isn’t going to forget anytime soon. The third-year pro notched his first career hat trick as the Ducks cruised to a 7-4 victory over the Kings. Bonino scored two consecutive goals in the first period and added a power play tally in the third period, making him an easy choice for first star of the evening.
Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry and Sheldon Souray also had goals and Jonas Hiller got the win in net for the Ducks, who sit just four points behind the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division standings. The two teams will meet Monday night for the second time this season. Palmieri’s goal was his fourth this season, as he continues to show potential in his first full season of NHL action.
Bonino played 50 games for the Ducks last season, scoring five goals and adding 13 assists. Originally a Sharks draft pick, he played three seasons at Boston University before turning pro with the Ducks in 2010. He has 12 goals and 45 points in his AHL rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch, but was unable to register a single point in his 26 games with the Ducks that season. After a better performance during the 2011-12 season, he got a two-year contract extension over the summer and is showing the Ducks he has the talent to back it up. For a team front-loaded with star power and scoring potential, the early season performance of their young role players is an exciting development.