ANAHEIM - Not overly worrisome considering the Ducks are still without many of their luminaries, but their scoring struggles continued tonight in a fourth straight preseason defeat, 1-0 to the Kings at Honda Center.
The Ducks have has scored just four goals in four preseason games (0-3-1), and though they fired 31 shots on net tonight, they undoubtedly look forward to getting some of their offensive firepower into the fold.
While the Ducks have gotten some players back who competed in the recently completed World Cup in Toronto, they still of course haven't seen the return of Team Canada gold medalists Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. And tonight regulars Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen, Clayton Stoner and Simon Despres did not suit up, while veterans Jakob Silfverberg and Kevin Bieksa played their first games of the preseason. The Kings also were without plenty of notables, as they split their squad with another game going on tonight in Vernon, British Columbia
"You're not going to win many games if you're not scoring goals," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We had opportunities, but I think [Kings goalie] Jonathan Quick had the luxury of seeing a lot of them, too. He's a world-class goalie. He made some big stops. These are what exhibition games are for. If you look at our lineup, we had a lot of kids in there and we played some people back to back. We don't really have our veterans available to us. We'll just continue to evaluate our kids."
After more than 28 scoreless minutes, LA got on the board when Anaheim goalie misplayed a clearing attempt and Andy Andreoff deposited the puck into the wide open net. There was some confusion on whether the puck had gone in because Jonathan Bernier knocked the back of the net in the air, but replays confirmed it went over the stripe.
Bernier, signed by the Ducks in the offseason as a backup to John Gibson had a nice night otherwise with 25 saves. "Tonight was my best game," he said. "I saw the puck really well, and the puck stuck to me. I made a mistake on that goal, but I thought it was the right play. I just didn't execute it. I thought overall we played a really good game as a team. We competed hard tonight. We just came up short on scoring a couple of goals."
Anaheim's best chance to tie it came with 8 1/2 minutes left in the game, but Chris Wagner's one-timer on the doorstep in front of an open net was deflected away by the stick of Kings defenseman Vincent LoVerde.
The Ducks sent Bernier to the bench for an extra attacker with a little more than a minute left, but they couldn't get anything past the Kings defense and Quick.
Anaheim plays its fifth of seven preseason games at Edmonton on Tuesday.