January-type hockey? Not really.
There were times when the hard-hitting Kings-Ducks game reached another level at Staples Center. Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said it seemed that "some guys didn't even know there was a puck out there."
The Ducks won, 3-2, in a shootout, absorbing more than a few blows (45 hits, in fact) from the Kings on Saturday night. As of now, the Kings are out of a playoff spot, tied with Calgary but behind the Flames, based on the tiebreaker. On Monday, they face the visiting Flames, who have won four straight road games.
As for Saturday, Getzlaf said it was a night worth savoring for the Ducks. Anaheim is 22-0-6 in one-goal wins this season. Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg supplied the difference against the Kings, and he is seven-for-11 in the shootout this season, the only player on either side to score in the shootout Saturday.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau has relied on intel from two seasons ago. He remembered watching an Ottawa-Boston game in which the broadcaster discussed then-Senator Silfverberg's "tremendous release."
"We got him the next year, it dawned on me that's what he said, so I gave him a shot at it and he scored. Scored again. Scored again," Boudreau said. "That shot [on Quick] had a pretty great release on it. I heard the ping and the cheers."
Said Silfverberg: "I've been lucky so far. I was trying to switch it up, so I took it in, took a quick shot — [Ryan Kesler] has been doing that a lot and it's worked. It went in, and it was a good feeling. It's huge for the team."
The Kings are 1-7 in the shootout this season and have not scored in their last 22 attempts. Against Anaheim, the three Kings in the shootout were Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik.
"Shootouts are a crapshoot," Kings captain Dustin Brown said on Sunday after an optional practice in El Segundo. "You can work on it. Every shooter has certain moves. Carts has had that backhand move. He tried something different. Kopi's had his moves over the years. Every shooter — who has done it on a regular basis — has three or four moves they go to."
The teams traded power-play goals. Kopitar gave the Kings a 2-1 lead at 18:27 of the second period, and Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen's tied it, 2-2, with 7:08 remaining in regulation.
"Our power play gave us momentum, our PK [penalty kill] was, again, they get another power-play goal," Brown said. "Our PK was pretty good, but the goal goes in, you still don't feel good about it.
"That's the difference in the game. If our PK can just find a way. Greener [defenseman Matt Greene] is doing the right thing. It just hits him and goes in the net. It's a bad break or whatever you want to call it.
"We've got to kill penalties."
Moment to remember
One of the highlights of the Rob Blake jersey retirement on Saturday night was Brown's heartfelt, emotional speech.
"This one was probably more important than all the others that I've done," Brown said. "Normally I don't get nervous, but for that one, I was nervous. It was a pretty important event, for Blakey, for the organization."
KINGS VS. CALGARY
When: 7:30 p.m., Monday
On the air: TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: 790.
ETC: Shore vs. Shore? A fun storyline could end up getting shelved based on line combinations at Sunday's Flames practice in El Segundo. Calgary's Drew Shore, the older brother of Kings rookie Nick Shore, appeared to be one of the odd men out. Nick Shore said his parents were going to be at Monday's game and joked they would be pulling for him, the younger brother. "We see the game the same way," Nick said of Drew. "I think he plays a little bit more north-south than I do." Rookie goalie Joni Ortio, who is 3-0-1 with one shutout, is scheduled to start for the Flames.