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Kings' shootout woes continue in loss to Ducks

by Curtis Zupke /

LOS ANGELES -- The terrific touch of Jakob Silfverberg seems uncanny. So is the Anaheim Ducks' perfect regulation record in one-goal games.

The two dynamics continued to mesh perfectly Saturday when Silfverberg scored the only goal in a shootout to give Anaheim a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Silfverberg scored his NHL-leading seventh shootout goal with a snap shot to beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

Frederik Andersen denied Marian Gaborik to seal the win for the Ducks (30-10-6), who are 22-0-6 in one-goal games.

Silfverberg is 7-for-11 in shootout attempts this season. Andersen also made saves against Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar and is 4-0-1 lifetime against the Kings.

"I've been taking a lot of shootouts this year so far and been lucky enough to put a lot of them in," Silfverberg said. "It's a lot about confidence going in there, and I feel like I have the confidence with me now and I have the confidence from [coach] Bruce [Boudreau]."

Silfverberg has been snakebitten this season with six goals in 46 games, but he creates chances and earns notice with his speed and offensive instincts which are showcased in the shootout.

"He's got a great release," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "There's not a lot of guys who can shoot the puck like that off his stride. He reminds me a lot of [Joffrey] Lupul when he was here."

Los Angeles (20-14-11) has not scored in its past 22 shootout attempts, is 2-for-28 this season and lost on a night when Rob Blake became the first Kings defenseman to have his jersey retired.

"We've been practicing it a bit, but we just have to get it done," Gaborik said. "We have enough talent for the guys to score goals. We just need to get the one win and the confidence level will go up and we just need to grind away."

Anaheim is 2-0-1 against Los Angeles this season with two shootouts and an overtime game. Kings coach Darryl Sutter half-joked that he "just can't pick the right guys" because the Kings are 1-7 in shootouts. He then assessed the difference against their rival.

"They are scoring the big goal for sure, and we're probably really close in those percentage points and goals against," Sutter said. "But we have to continue to work at that. That has to be the foundation of our game. I thought Jonathan was our best player tonight, and it was good to see."

The Ducks tied it 2-2 with 7:13 remaining in regulation on defenseman Sami Vatanen's power-play goal. Anaheim outplayed Los Angeles for most of the third period and forced Drew Doughty to take a tripping penalty.

The Kings had clung to Kopitar's goal, on a converted a cross-crease saucer pass from Gaborik through traffic, at 18:27 of the second period. It came with 19 seconds remaining on a four-minute high-sticking penalty by Silfverberg in which the Ducks held the Kings without a shot in the first three minutes.

Getzlaf tied it 1-1 with his 14th goal at 14:19 of the second. Getzlaf won a faceoff and went to the net to chip in a rebound off Corey Perry's initial shot. The Kings have had trouble protecting the front of the net lately and could not get a body on Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon.

The game took on the usual tug-of-war effect that was the epitome of the 2014 Western Conference Second Round won by the Kings last May. The physicality (a combined 75 hits) prompted Getzlaf to say that "some guys didn't even know there was a puck out there at the start of the game."

The Ducks have gone 1-0-1 at Staples Center this season; they beat the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

"They had three days off from their last game, and, yeah, they are missing a couple of guys, but I am pretty sure that was a pretty determined group out there," Boudreau said of the Kings. "We played three games in four nights. I just think that now we can compete with them. They may win, but we are not afraid to play them anymore."

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez opened the scoring with a point shot that deflected off Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri at 8:54 of the second.

Kings center Nick Shore made his NHL debut after he was recalled from the American Hockey League. He centered a line with Dwight King and Carter.

Vatanen's goal marked five straight games with a power-play goal by Anaheim for the first time since 2011.

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