Inside the box score 9/30

Unlike yesterday, today’s effort looked much like the one the 2006-07 Kings would have given. That’s not a good sign for a team that needs to establish a new identity. The Ducks came out with fire, which the Kings should have expected, but except in brief spurts they didn’t do anything to match the Ducks’ intensity. The Kings looked better in the third period, but that was against a Ducks team defending a 4-1 lead.

Jason LaBarbera will take some heat today, and he deserves some of it. He stopped 21 of 25 shots. But at times he was also a major victim of the play in front of him. From a pure goaltending standpoint, Bernier looked better yesterday, but certainly Bernier would have struggled some if he had started today’s game.

The Kings had two shots on goal during five power plays. That’s an easy way to lose a game. Give the Ducks credit for staying out of the box and for their strong, aggressive penalty killing. And, to be fair, credit the Kings for taking only one minor penalty after that dreadful first period.

The second-period line changes seemed to work a little, but the Ducks were still getting the better of the Kings. As the game went on, Frolov appeared to get more comfortable with Handzus and Nagy. Maybe the Kings have finally found a couple guys Frolov can work well with.

Patrick O’Sullivan and Brady Murray impressed again today. Michael Cammalleri and Anze Kopitar were solid again.

Jack Johnson played 22 minutes, 17 seconds, more than Rob Blake. Brad Stuart played 23:25 and Lubomir Visnovsky played 22:00.

The Ducks outshot the Kings 25-23 and won 30 of 57 faceoffs. Cammalleri and Kopitar each had four shots on goal for the Kings. Dustin Brown was credited with six hits and Scott Thornton with five hits. Visnovsky had four of the Kings’ 16 giveaways.

I’ll post postgame quotes as I run across them…

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End of second period

Ducks 4, Kings 1

Similar to the first period, the Kings finally started skating late in the period, but it’s not nearly enough. The Ducks are still faster and stronger to every loose puck and the Kings still look tentative, even in the offensive zone.

The Kings have yet to record a shot on goal on the power play. They’re 0 for 3.

The line changes made for a slight improvement. The line of O’Sullivan, Armstrong and Calder seemed to have the most jump out of the three lines that were shuffled.

Jason LaBarbera is facing much more pressure than Jonathan Bernier faced yesterday, but even so, he’s not holding up as well as the rookie did.

The Kings did manage to stay out of the penalty box, with the exception of Thornton’s fighting major.

The Ducks are outshooting the Kings 19-15 and have won 22 of 38 faceoffs. Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz each have four shots for the Ducks. Cammalleri has four shots for the Kings. The Kings made strides in the hits and giveaways columns but still trail in both.

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New lines, redux


That makes more sense, although Thornton is now off for five minutes for a fight with Parros. Lots of throws, little contact, although the Brits loved it. Just about midway through the period.

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Ducks 4-0

LaBarbera pushed the puck into the corner but Modry, with two Ducks on him, didn’t get help couldn’t work it out. The puck got flipped to Travis Moen in the slot and Moen beat LaBarbera with a simple high wrist shot. The goal came 4:10 into the period. Niedermayer and Marchant with the assists.

It’s barely a game at this point. The Ducks are dominating all facets.

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Ducks 3-0

More of the same for the Kings…Corey Perry with the goal on a puck that came off the boards. LaBarbera was looking the other way. Brady Murray was stuck on the ice without a stick and the Ducks controlled the puck in the Kings’ zone for a good 90 seconds, probably. The goal came 2:53 into the period.

There look to be some line changes.

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End of first period

Ducks 2, Kings 0

Are these the same teams from yesterday? The Ducks are playing like a team that’s desperate to avoid getting on a transcontinental flight with two losses, and the Kings look like they would rather be somewhere else.

The Ducks are skating strong and smart and the Kings couldn’t generate anything in the offensive zone. They finally showed some interest in getting to the net in the final four minutes, but by that point they trailed 2-0. The Ducks’ goalie, Jonas Hiller, is making his NHL debut, yet the Kings were able to do very little to make him uncomfortable.

The bad penalties didn’t hurt the Kings yesterday, but they did in the first period today because the Ducks have some jump and they’re active around the net. Both goals came from close range. LaBarbera overplayed the puck on the first goal and the second-goal was just a scrum in front and the Kings couldn’t clear the zone.

Lots of positives if you’re the Ducks, almost none if you’re the Kings. The 2006-07 penalty kill returned in that period.

The Ducks outshot the Kings 9-6. Chris Kunitz had three shots. The Ducks were credited with 16 hits to the Kings’ seven, and that should tell you a lot…

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