Jonas Hiller stopped all 29 of the Kings’ shots and got his first NHL shutout tonight, ending the Ducks losing streak at 3 games. In my opinion, Hiller (with a save percentage of 90.8% & record of 2-1-1 before tonight’s shutout) has looked a lot better than Giguere (save percentage of 90.5% & record of 7-6-1) this season. Will tonight’s shutout give Hiller a bit more of a chance to play? Time will tell.
The Kings managed to keep the Ducks from scoring on their 2 man advantage (which they had for almost 2 minutes), but could not score against Hiller. Clearly, it’s impossible to win if you can’t score. Terry Murray thought the 5 on 3 power play the Ducks had seemed to take the wind out of the Kings’ sales. Murray attributed it to being the turning point of the game for his team.
Though Erik Ersberg stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced (a save percentage of 92.3%) and looked fairly strong in goal tonight, he got his second regulation loss of the season. The Kings were clearly frustrated by both of their losses this weekend. They have the day off tomorrow. They’ll start working on turning things around on Tuesday and hope to come out strong when they play the Capitals on Thursday.
In spite of the fires in southern California, the sold out Honda Center was pretty full. Most fans made the effort to get to the game to see the Ducks and Kings match up. I was impressed by the crowd, given the circumstances and the fact that the Ducks had lost a couple games.
Wednesday & Thursday’s games with the Capitals in southern California (Wednesday against the Ducks, Thursday against the Kings) should be exciting. The Capitals haven’t been to southern California in three years. Though Alexander Semin is really shining this year, I’m sure most fans in attendance will be looking forward to seeing Alex Ovechkin in person. At least with the NHL schedule changes, the Capitals should be here every other year, but seeing Ovechkin in person is definitely exciting for those of us who don’t get to see him very often.
Home viewers were surely happy that the entire game was not shown in the rinkside view format tonight. Fans were very vocal about hating the rinkside view and in spite of public comments to the contrary, apparently, FSN West/Prime Ticket does care about fans watching the game.