I'll admit it. I pretty much wrote this game off after the Los Angeles Kings scored their third goal in the first period. So much so that I was flipping through my Us Weekly, half-listening to the game, until Cam Fowler scored in the second. As the Kings continued to control most of the game, I watched a little more, but the Us Weekly kept pulling me back in...until Luca Sbisa scored. Then I watched everything, and I wanted that win. And I didn't get it. The Kings (gulp) were the better team tonight.
This was one of those games where the Ducks would take one step forward, and eleven steps back. Get a quick goal on the power play and then the final two power plays of the night came up empty. Start to get some consistent pressure on Jonathan Quick, and a loose puck would float out of the crease, causing a 2-on-1 breakaway. I guess it doesn't really matter anymore. They don't need to build off of or learn from these games. The playoff hopes, if not already dead, are on life-support.
-- Corey Perry and Luca Sbisa were both back in the lineup. This morning, Bruce Boudreau made it sound like they were highly unlikely to play. Luca looked fine, but I think Perry was a touch off. I saw him get knocked on his back and the look on his face when he got up was a mixture of misery and pain. I would have been ok if he sat out one more game.
-- Cam Fowler scored his first goal since December 4th. I'm sure he's ready to put this season behind him and start fresh in October.
-- I really thought Cam's goal went off of Teemu Selanne's stick. So far, the NHL doesn't agree with me. However, with Selanne's initial assist on the play, it earned him his 500th assist as a Duck. He's tops in that category, along with almost every franchise record on the books.
-- Jonas Hiller had a rough first period. After that, he was solid, stopping 39 of 42 shots. He even made one save where he was totally in the splits. I don't have the same anatomy as him, but damn that made my lower body ache.
BAD & UGLY (I'm combining the two because they played so bad)
-- In the point above, I said that Hiller stopped 39 of 42. His counter part, Jonathan Quick stopped 18-20. HOLY CRAP.
-- I'm a firm believer in the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I would have liked to see the continuation of RPG Part Deux (Bobby Ryan, Kyle Palmieri, and Ryan Getzlaf). Corey Perry can play with anyone, he would have been fine on another line. After his heroics on Wednesday night, Palmieri was relatively silent in this game.
-- Boudreau reunited the original RPG for a majority of the third period. They were the worst line for the Ducks tonight, going minus-2 across the board. Getzlaf had three turnovers, Perry had two, and Ryan had one. It wasn't working tonight.
-- Still rolling with my conspiracy theory that Lubomir Visnovsky is hurt. He has the best one-timer on the team and it has not been utilized at all. Lubo had a bad game, and lately, the bad is outweighing the good.
-- Another game full of marginal calls and no calls.
-- The Kings have handily won the (stupidly named) Freeway Faceoff this season going 5-1. That hurts.