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What we learned from the Ducks' 3-2 shootout win over the Kings

What we learned from the Ducks' 3-2 shootout win over the Kings

There were times in the hard-hitting Saturday night game against the Kings that Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said it seemed that “some guys didn’t even know there was a puck out there.”

Anaheim absorbed a very good shot from the Kings, who needed a victory to stay in playoff position, had rested for three days and forced the Ducks to absorb 45 hits at Staples Center.

Still, the Ducks won, 3-2, in a shootout.

In their continued bid to feel as if they’ve conquered the difference that left them eliminated by the Kings in seven games in last season’s Western Conference semifinals, Getzlaf said it was a night worth savoring.

“That's as good a team as you can play when they're playing like that,” Getzlaf said.

Jakob Silfverberg should be used in every shootout

The forward may only have six goals through 46 games, but in the shootout, he’s 7-for-11 after beating Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for the lone goal in extra time.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said he first opted to make Silfverberg a shooter in the bonus session after watching an Ottawa Senators-Boston Bruins' game two seasons ago in which the broadcaster discussed then-Senator Silverberg'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."

Silfverberg said the confidence from his prior success seems to carry over to the next game.

"I've been lucky so far," he said. "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."

A powerful rise

With his tying third-period goal, Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen gave Anaheim a five-game streak of scoring a power-play goal for the first time since Nov. 25-Dec. 4, 2011.

That was preceded by a 1-for-27 slump with a man-advantage.

"We've showed we know how to play down a goal,” Vatanen said, his team now 22-0-6 in one-goal games this season. “I was trying to pass it to [forward] Patty [Maroon]. I got lucky, it bounced off another player [Kings defenseman Matt Greene].”

They found a way through the gloom

There were times during the second period that the Ducks seemed incapable of ever getting a goal past Quick.

They slapped a hand at the puck, flung a stick wildly just trying to move it closer, but really seemed to have no effective plan to penetrate the defense.

That’s a problem left over from last season, when the Kings’ defense dictated the outcome.

“It almost felt like we were protecting the defensive aspect of the game,” Boudreau said. “But when we’re behind, we push a little harder.”

Anaheim was scoreless through more than 14 minutes of the second period Saturday, when Corey Perry, then Maroon, then Getzlaf put consecutive shots on Quick, with Getzlaf breaking through.

“We can compete with them,” Boudreau said. “We’re not afraid to play them anymore.”

Frederik Andersen finishes strong

In the Ducks’ 17th overtime game of the season, goalie Frederik Andersen endured good scoring threats from Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty.

In the shootout, he kept Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik silenced.

“Fun to be a part of a big game like that,” Andersen said afterward, improving to 7-1-1 since Dec. 22. “When we’re winning, that’s what matters. Get the win, that’s an important point against these guys.”

Anaheim (30-10-6) now leads the Kings (20-14-11) by 15 points.

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