Hiller sends Kings to fourth straight loss
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:07 AM
The struggles continued for the Los Angeles Kings
on Monday night.
made 27 saves for his seventh career shutout, rookie defenseman Cam Fowler
scored and the Anaheim Ducks
beat the reeling Kings 2-0 Monday night at the Honda Center.
scored with 2:24 left and Teemu Selanne had two assists for the Ducks, who have won two straight after a six-game skid. Anaheim shut down the Kings' offense in front of Hiller, who punctuated his first shutout of the season with a sparkling glove save on Anze Kopitar
's point-blank chance in the final minutes.
"That's the type of game our hockey club has to play night in and night out," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "It was a good one for us. We had an effort from every member of our group. That is what is important.
"The true display was at the end of the game, when people that were on the ice were sacrificing their bodies to block shots and get into shooting lanes to protect that shutout for Jonas Hiller
stopped 17 shots for the Kings, who have lost seven of eight after a six-game winning streak. Mistakes by Drew Doughty
and Jack Johnson
, the Kings' cornerstone young defensemen, led directly to the Anaheim goals.
Selanne returned from a three-game absence with an injured groin, and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky
played through back spasms. Both assisted on Fowler's goal midway through the second period, breaking a scoreless tie.
The Kings have plummeted since a 12-3-0 start put them on top of the overall NHL standings earlier in the season. Los Angeles hasn't won in regulation since giving up six goals in a loss to San Jose on Nov. 15.
"It wasn't the result we wanted," Kings captain Dustin Brown
said. "I think it was probably the best 60 minutes we've played through this so-called slump that we're going through. You look at the goals. They got a power-play goal and a goal off a turnover. We had a lot of chances. They had a good goalie tonight and we've got to move on now."
Scoring has been the problem, as Hiller could attest. Although coach Terry Murray has shuffled lines, Los Angeles has just four goals in its last four games.
Anaheim had similar scoring woes during its skid, which ended with six goals against Phoenix last weekend, but the Ducks' biggest problem has been defense, giving up 16 goals in their previous four games.
Hiller's heavy workload and high shot volume have affected his totals, but the Swiss goalie has kept the Ducks in enough games to avoid a major slump.
Hiller made his biggest save with 3:19 to play, cleanly gloving Kopitar's point-blank one-timer in the slot while falling face-first on the ice.
"We didn't play too well the last few games at home, and we wanted to show we could play better," Hiller said. "Everybody played quite well tonight. If we play like that every night, we'll always have a good chance."
Both teams started tentatively. Blake's backhand off the outside of Quick's post in the second period was the closest thing to a goal in the first 32 minutes.
Anaheim finally connected when Doughty took a second tripping penalty just 8 seconds after getting out of the box, giving a second straight power play to the Ducks. After Selanne won the ensuing faceoff, the 18-year-old Fowler teed up a pass from Visnovsky for the second goal of his promising debut season.
After Johnson's failed pinch resulted in a 2-on-1 for Blake and Selanne, Blake punctuated a strong game by scoring his second goal in two games.
"We found a way and didn't back off," Hiller said. "We can be happy with this win and it's something we can build on."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.