LOS ANGELES – A long-overdue road victory for the Ducks will once again have to wait, as they lost in familiar fashion in a familiar building.
Despite forcing overtime on a Lubomir Visnovsky goal late in regulation, the Ducks were downed by the rival Kings in a shootout, 3-2 at Staples Center. It was a similar fate as the the last time Anaheim came to LA, a 2-1 shootout loss on November 16 that marked the last time the Ducks earned a point on the road. They haven’t won a road game since October 27 at Minnesota.
The Los Angeles victory came in the debut of new coach head coach Darryl Sutter, who was hired Tuesday to replace the dismissed Terry Murray. The Ducks fell to 2-6-2 under their midseason coaching replacement, Bruce Boudreau.
"Anything can happen in the shootout, but overall -- I hate to keep saying it -- I thought we played pretty solid," Boudreau said. "The difference between winning and losing sometimes is just the attitude and believing you're going to win or believing you're going to lose."
The Ducks (9-19-6) looked like believers when they tied the game with three minutes left in regulation Visnovsky's goal. But they couldn't capitalize on a few opportunities in the five-minute overtime.
In the shootout, Dustin Brown led off with a conversion, and Corey Perry answered with a wrist shot inside the right post. But Teemu Selanne and Kyle Palmieri each had their attempts stopped by goalie Jonathan Quick. Palmieri’s failed to extend the shootout after Dustin Brown wristed a shot past Jonas Hiller in the top of the third round.
"We're desperate at this point," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf of a Ducks team that has lost six of the last seven. "We can take a little bit away from tonight in the fact that we battled hard and scored a big goal in the third period."
The Kings took their first lead of the game eight minutes into the third period, when Brown took in an Anze Kopitar pass on the rush and one-timed it past Hiller stick side.
The Ducks, after not generating much to counter, finally answered with 3:11 left in regulation when Visnovsky ripped a slap shot through a leaping Perry screen past Quick.
Three minutes later came the overtime in which the Ducks had their chances, especially after Drew Doughty got called for holding on a Bobby Ryan charge to the net. But a couple of Anaheim chances in front of the net went under sticks before the Kings cleared the puck.
The Kings had a power play of their own in OT after a Ryan holding call with 30 seconds left, but couldn’t find the net after some chances in front of Hiller. But they only had to wait until the shootout to pull off the victory for Sutter.
"I thought for sure when we got the power play in the overtime, it was gonna happen, and it didn't," Boudreau said. "Then when we killed off their power play at the end of the overtime, I thought we would win it in the shootout."
Following a scoreless first, the Ducks finally broke the ice 14 minutes into the second on Niklas Hagman’s fourth goal in the past five games. Visnovsky launched a shot from the point that Hagman tipped through while planted near Jonathan Quick’s right leg pad.
The Kings got even less than three minutes later, when a Doughty slap shot was tipped through by Mike Richards with his back to the net. Richards was playing his first game after missing the last eight with a head injury.
The Ducks don't play again until the day after Christmas in San Jose.
"There are things we can build on going into this break," Getzlaf said, "and come back and try to make a push."
ANA Kyle Palmieri's attempt is NO GOOD, as he fires into Quick. Kings win it.
LAK Dustin Brown's attempt is GOOD, as he beats Hiller glove side.
ANA Teemu Selanne's attempt is NO GOOD, as he fakes a shot and Quick knocks away the backhand.
LAK Anze Kopitar's attempt is NO GOOD, a wrister wide left.
ANA Corey Perry's attempt is GOOD, a wrister inside the right post.
LAK Jarret Stoll's attempt is GOOD, a wrist shot top shelf.
It will be Perry, Selanne and Palmieri to start.
5:00 - END OF OVERTIME - We're going to the shootout for the second time in two Ducks-Kings games here.
4:55 - Some scariness in front of the Anaheim net before Beauchemin slaps it all the way down the rink.
4:30 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. holding. Ryan holds Voynov and now the Kings have a big opportunity.
3:50 - Ducks hover around the net, but Kings clear to the delight of the crowd.
2:35 - Perry to Getzlaf in front, under his stick. Getzlaf to Selanne in front, under his stick. Wide open nets for both.
1:55 - LAK Penalty - Drew Doughty, 2 min. holding. Ryan draws the penalty by crashing the net and trying to go to the backhand in front of Quick before he's taken down. Big chance for ANA.
0:00 - Here we go in OT.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - We're going to OT, as the Ducks secure their first point on the road since they were here November 16 (a shootout loss).
16:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY - Visnovsky makes it happen again, catching the puck in the high slot, and backing up to the right point, where he rips a slap shot through a leaping screen from Perry and past Quick. We're tied, baby.
15:01 - Hiller kick-saves a green shot into the air and into his glove. Ducks need a goal with 4:59 left.
12:20 - Hiller with a huge kick save on Kopitar on the doorstep off a Kings transition rush.
11:41 - Perry takes a drop pass, pauses and fires off Quick and can't quite get at the rebound.
11:04 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf and LAK Penalty - Colin Fraser, 2 min. eac unsportsmanlike conduct. Getzlaf and Fraser get into a tangle near the red line away from the play. Not roughing but unsportsmanlike conduct. Interesting.
8:02 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - DUSTIN BROWN - With not much going on offensively for either size, Brown brings this crowd alive when he takes a Kopitar pass on the rush and one-times it from the high slot past Hiller high on the stick side. Ducks trail it for the first time, 2-1.
6:52 - Hiller chests a Johnson slap shot out of play. That one had some sizzle on it.
5:50 - Beleskey-Cogliano-Palmieri keeping active.
1:40 - Ducks finish off the kill, and it's a big one at that.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Kings with some substantial power play time.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks get one from Hagman, Kings get one from Richards. It's 1-1 going into the break, with the Kings looking at 1:40 of power play time to start the third.
19:40 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. slashing. After the whistle, Fowler retaliates against Brown, a rare sight indeed. Getzlaf, meanwhile, hates the call.
16:17 - LOS ANGELES GOAL - MIKE RICHARDS - Doughty fires a shot from the point that Richards tips past Hiller with his back to the net. It's Richards' first game back after missing eight with a head injury and it's tied 1-1.
15:48 - Voynov gets in deep and backhands into Hiller, just before he gets run over.
13:55 - ANAHEIM GOAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN - Ducks finally breaks the ice when Visnovsky rips a slaps shot from the straightaway point, and Hagman redirects it in while perched right next to Quick's right leg pad. Sixth of the season for Hagman (including four in the past five) and it's 1-0 Ducks.
12:46 - Ducks kill. Neither team getting much going on the PP tonight.
During the timeout, they play "This or That" with a 60-something guy. Universal Studios or Disneyland? He says Disneyland. Dodgers or Angels? He says Dodgers (cheers). Lakers or Clippers? He says Clippers (boos).
10:46 - ANA Penalty - Luca Sbisa, 2 min. tripping.
10:20 - Hagman takes a spill trying to stay onside. The lesson, as always, ice is slippery.
9:26 - Perry picks up a lost puck and fires, but Quick saves.
Things are a little muted in here so far tonight. A goal might change that. Let's hope it's from the right guys.
Kiss Cam ends with a message on the board, "Eve, Will You Marry Me?" (and I forget the guy's name). Sucker. Somehow they don't even show him in the arena. I smell a fake.
6:05 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. hooking. First Ducks minor penalty of the Darryl Sutter Kings era.
Sorry for the delays, folks. Horrible wi fi here AGAIN.
5:35 - Selanne takes a feed from Gordon that Quick kicks away. Big rebound in front, but no Ducks there to get on it.
3:45 - Kings frustrating their fans with a lot of time in the Ducks' end, but not much action. Ducks' fourth line it out there awhile, but finally gets to the bench.
2:45 - Hiller with the save, but the puck trickles behind him just wide.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - We're scorless after one, as the Kings outshoot the Ducks 13-9.
18:28 - Hiller gives up a fat rebound off a Richardson shot, but Kopitar isn't able to get a lot of stick on the rebound try and Hiller makes a lunging save.
16:56 - Brown is able to get off a wrist shot from the slot, but Hiller saves the day with a glove snatch.
16:15 - Not a ton going on with that power play either. No shots on either of them.
14:15 - LAK Penalty - Kyle Clifford, 2 min. hooking. Ducks hoping to improve on that first power play.
The Kings work Bailey into a classic Christmas Vacation seen (when he speeds down the hill on a sled) and it's not as funny. Just watched that movie for the 85th time over the weekend and it still stands up.
13:39 - Right off the draw, Beleskey and Fraser drop the gloves, with Fraser getting the upper hand early but Beleskey ultimately takes him down and stands over him.
11:51 - Hiller traps and holds a Mitchell slap shot from the point.
9:20 - Hiller bails out a Beauchemin giveaway by saving a Fraser slap shot.
Holy lord, the caramel-chocolate popcorn from Popcornopolis may be the best thing I've ever eaten.
7:03 - LAK Penalty - Colin Fraser, 2 min. hooking. Fraser gets Lydman in the corner for the first penalty of the Sutter era.
So, I was late getting here today for a number of reasons and missed the always-good Staples Center press meal. I'm getting some popcorn.
6:15 - Perry with a one-timer that Quick saves and holds.
World's Coldest Press Box living up to its name right now.
2:10 - Palmieri crosses the blue line and fires off Quick's chest.
Organist gets the crowd going early with the "Hiiiiilllller" chant.
0:00 - And we're underway at Staples Center, the start of the Darryl Sutter era in LA. Starters in bold/italics.