For those seeking deep, dark omens for the
Asked what he took out of a game the Kings led largely on the strength of Martin Jones' solid goaltending and two opportunistic goals, he smiled.
"Not much, really," he said. "I think we were up, 2-0, after two periods and a big part of that was the play of Joner. He made some big saves, and we know we have to be better than we were the last couple of games and we will be."
"We won eight in a row and lose two and you guys think it's consistency?" he said to reporters. "It's just playing our game. We didn't play our game for a full 60. I don't know what you want me to say about consistency. No one was questioning it two games ago."
This was a hard game, a physical game, an emotional game reminiscent of the playoff series they played last spring. If they meet again in the postseason tournament this spring, it's likely every game will be like this — highlighted by bits of remarkable skill and exceptional goaltending and settled by who's tougher mentally.
The Kings were the tougher team last spring, and the Ducks have acknowledged that. For them, after a long stretch of midseason foundering, the outcome Friday meant a lot more than it did to Carter.
"We turned the corner tonight," said center
"That's the kind of hockey we need to start playing. Not just against L.A. but against everybody. We knew how well they were playing up until this game and how few goals they were giving up. We were upbeat and we definitely took it to them in the third period."
"I think their forecheck overwhelmed us the whole night and it caught up with us," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said, adding that playing three games in four nights contributed to the Kings' inability to fight back in the final period.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf thought Friday's rally was a big moment.
"Any time you can beat that team from behind, that's a big step for us," he said. "It was a good hockey game again, as we've come to expect from these guys. It's always going to be a hard-fought battle. We did a great job of staying in the hockey game. We talked about it a couple weeks ago, when we get down, not losing our composure. We're doing a better job."
Brown also saw the Ducks' forecheck and his own team's fatigue as the deciding factor.
"We made really good plays coming out of our zone in the first two periods and we didn't handle the pressure they put on in the third coming down the walls, and as a result they got turnovers and goals," he said.
Both teams made trades last week in preparation for playoff runs. The Kings acquired defenseman