They’re not dead yet. A determined effort by the Ducks earned them an unlikely win on the road against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim remains alive in the playoff chase.
The Ducks have struggled on the road all year, but have won three in a row away from home. This time the Ducks won 2-1 in a shootout that had a lot of deja vu to the previous night’s game against Vancouver.
Curtis McElhinney got a back-to-back start and his fifth start in a row for the Ducks. He made 28 saves and more importantly, saved every attempt in the shootout by the Kings to get the Ducks two points in the standings.
Jack Johnson had the Kings only goal of the game on the power play later in the first period. It went in off of Troy Bodie’s skate at 19:40.
The ice seemed less than ideal with the puck bouncing around a lot and it was difficult to get any chances. In a virtual repeat of the previous game, the Ducks got a late power play opportunity. Pulling McElhinney for a two man advantage, the Ducks converted once again.
Saku Koivu, who tied up the game at 18:36 of the third period against Vancouver, tied up the game at 18:28 against the Kings. It took three chances, with Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan missing, but Koivu chipped the puck up over Jonathan Quick and the game went to overtime.
McElhinney, who looked nervous in the shootout against Vancouver, redeemed himself mightily against Los Angeles. No reason to hang his head after either game, but you can guarantee this one gave him a boost of confidence.
Still hanging on for dear life, the Ducks continue to get it done.
“We desperately needed these points,” said Koivu, who put in the only goal of the shootout. “(Friday) we got a shootout loss and lost a point, but tonight we came back at the end of the game. We’ve got to win them all and get help from other teams, but we are going to push until the end.”
Next push comes on Tuesday in a rematch with the Kings at the Honda Center, their final meeting of the year.