Wednesday was a long day for the Ducks.
Jonas Hiller said he’s got vertigo, Timo Pielmeier was demoted to Syracuse, Ray Emery was flown in to Anaheim, Curtis McElhinney earned another start, Saku Koivu tried to play despite a groin injury but sat, Ryan Getzlaf tried to play but his wife gave birth so he sat out too, and then the Ducks lost 3-2 to the Kings.
Time to breathe now.
A one-goal loss to the Kings was about the most uplifting way to extend a losing streak to four games, short of earning a point in overtime or a shootout. Figure that with Getzlaf and Koivu in the lineup, Jarkko Ruutu isn’t starting the game on the top line; the Ducks are putting more pressure on Jonathan Quick and not relying on a pair of deflections to constitute their offense; and certainly Bobby Ryan and Brandon McMillan aren’t dressing as the No. 1 and 2 centers.
“I think we played good enough to win the game,” Teemu Selanne said, and against a team that isn’t as hot as the Kings (9-1-3 in their last 13 games), he’s probably right.
Here’s the game story, and here are a few details I left out:
The Kings, who had three days off between games, were held to a season-low 18 shots on goal. They missed as many shots (18) as they put on net, but the Ducks also blocked 14, led by Todd Marchant, Francois Beauchemin and Toni Lydman with two each. Eleven of the 18 players in the lineup blocked at least one.
The only really bad goal that McElhinney allowed was the Kings’ second goal, by Anze Kopitar. The puck was loose in front of him, the defense couldn’t clear it, the puck kicked out to McElhinney’s left and he didn’t cover up the left post. Ryan Smyth’s goal was a thing of beauty, and some combination of Cam Fowler and/or Kyle Clifford screened McElhinney from seeing Willie Mitchell’s game-winner.
Selanne has recorded 20 goals in 16 of his 19 NHL seasons. One of the three was the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, and another was the 2007-08 season during which he was retired for all but 26 games.
The Kings did not spend a second on the power play.
Corey Perry’s 31st goal of the season tied Chicago’s Patrick Sharp for fifth in the NHL.
In his return to the center position, Ryan went 6-7 in the faceoff circle.
Ryan and Dan Sexton had two of the more worthy secondary assists an NHL player can get. Both won a puck battle along the boards that led to a point shot by a defenseman that led to a goal.
Sexton and Ruutu switched places for the third period, Sexton moving up to a line with Ryan and Perry, and Ruutu playing with Maxim Lapierre and Todd Marchant.
Sheldon Brookbank skated at left wing on a line with George Parros and Kyle Chipchura, logging 6:28 over nine shifts.
Clifford got the better of Chipchura in the game’s only fight. Also probably the only Kings-Ducks fight between two players named Kyle.
Paige Getzlaf delivered a healthy baby boy today, named Ryder James Getzlaf (9 lbs, 5 ounces).