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…