Jonathan Bernier…it’s impossible to overstate what this guy just did. NHL debut…age 19…first game of the season…foreign environment…early 5-on-3 power play…late pressure, and he never wilted. Now, there’s a big difference between late September and late March, but Bernier stopped 26 of 27 shots and looked nearly flawless.
Patrick O’Sullivan was huge in the third period after he looked a little lost early. Who would have guessed that he would end up being such a valuable penalty killer? Given how awful the Kings were in that area last season, O’Sullivan’s play on the PK would be a huge bonus.
Another player making his debut, Brady Murray, looked very solid as well. Very good puck protection and energy.
Kopitar clearly is making an effort to be better in the defensive zone, but he has to do so without taking bad penalties.
That was the one negative area for the Kings today, bad penalties. They got away with it, even though the Ducks had an outstanding power play last season, but the Kings can’t afford to consistently take bad penalties.
The Ducks really got their legs in the third period, controlled the last 10 minutes and got a lot of traffic in front of the Kings’ net. Bernier held up perfectly, but we’ll see if the Ducks come out tomorrow with that great effort again.
As previously mentioned, guys such as Cammalleri, Kopitar and Visnovsky came to play. Those are the guys who are going to have to be good every night if the Kings hope to improve this season.
The Ducks outshot the Kings 27-21. The Kings won 31 of 59 faceoffs. The Kings went 3 for 8 on the power play and the Ducks went 1 for 8. Cammalleri, Kopitar and Preissing each had three shots on goal for the Kings. Getzlaf had four shots for the Ducks. The Kings were credited with 32 hits, to the Ducks’ 20.