Ducks fall to Kings 3-2 in dramatic shootout

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks came up short to lose their ninth consecutive game to the Kings.

LOS ANGELES — The Ducks headed to Crypto.com Arena as they looked to bounce back with a win over their California rivals, the Kings. Jakob Silfverberg got Anaheim off to a solid start with a power play goal to begin the scoring, but before the period would end Kevin Fiala responded to bring things back even. The second period would once again see each team trading goals, as the Ducks struck first with Sam Carrick’s 8th of the season. For Los Angeles, it would be Drew Doughty to find the net and tie the game at two heading into the third. Both goalies were able to come up clutch in the final period as well as the overtime session, forcing a 2-2 game to head to a shootout. With the Kings eventually up 2-1 in the shootout, it came down to a shot from Alex Killorn that the Ducks needed to tie the game. David Rittich would seal the deal on a clutch save to deny Killorn and put a loss on the record for Anaheim.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

The Ducks let Los Angeles win a rare shootout

As Saturday night’s contest headed to a shootout, the stats would have supported the Ducks’ chances of coming out on top. They had won their only previous shootout of the season back in early December against the Avalanche, while the Kings had gone a disappointing 1-5 in their shootouts. They managed to start strong, however, as Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Los Angeles to give them the 1-0 advantage. Mason McTavish could not respond for Anaheim as they remained in the rearview mirror. Trevor Moore would extend the lead to 2-0 on the Kings’ second score of the shootout before Leo Carlsson knocked in a clutch score to keep things alive for the Ducks. John Gibson would then provide a big save against Kevin Fiala to give Anaheim the chance to tie it at 2. Unfortunately, Alex Killorn could not deliver and the Kings managed just their second shootout win of the season through 7 such opportunities.

It was a disappointing way for the Ducks to go out, and they would have definitely loved to come up with some points against a Kings team that has been rolling (6 wins out of their last 8).

John Gibson does his best as Kings spray 50 shots

The attack from the Kings was seemingly relentless as goalie John Gibson did his very best to hold Los Angeles off. He would allow just two goals in the game (one in each of the first two periods), as he saved 48 of a whopping 50 shots from Los Angeles. He was especially clutch in the third period and overtime, as he stayed on pace with Kings’ goalie David Rittich to keep things tied in a tense environment. Since the Ducks were unable to seal the deal in regulation, he was forced into another situation that would require some more heroics. Gibson ultimately allowed scores to Dubois and Moore, which were just enough to help Los Angeles sneak by with the victory. It was the second OTL for the 30-year-old this season, and unfortunately, his impressive effort was not enough to help the team grab two points instead of the one they walked away with.

Anaheim proves vulnerable to the power-play again

Throughout the Ducks’ last few contests, the power-play has become an area that needs to be highlighted for improvement. The team allowed both goals for the Kings on Saturday to come via the power-play, and it marked the third time in the last six games that Anaheim has allowed two power-play scores. When taking a look back at the season as a whole so far, the Ducks are at the very bottom of the league in power-play goals allowed to opponents. They’ve given up 55, which is a big reason for their lack of success thus far. The story for the Kings has been the exact opposite this season. They have allowed a league-low 24 goals in power-play situations this year, with one of those goals coming from Jakob Silfverberg in the loss. It was the first power-play goal allowed by the Kings in their last 7 games at home. The lack of ability to defend the power-play from Anaheim will continue to be a gaping hole that teams take advantage of until they find a way to tighten up on defense and provide some more grit.

The Ducks will now have to take the drive of shame back down the 405 as they prepare for a game on Sunday against the Nashville Predators. Despite the superior record from Nashville this season, Anaheim has had their number in the previous two matchups between the teams this season. They will look to make it a 3-0 season series and end their losing skid at 2.

The game is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. PT.