After deadline: Tidbits from the Ducks' 2-1 shootout victory over the Kings
The Kings and the Ducks have never made the playoffs in the same season, and that's likely to continue despite the Ducks' late rally Saturday and 2-1 shootout victory over the Kings at Staples Center.
Despite falling short of victory the Kings can clinch a playoff spot Sunday if ninth-place Calgary loses in regulation at Chicago, because that would mean the Flames wouldn't be able to match the Kings' 44 wins. If teams are tied in points at the end of the season, the first tiebreaker is wins.
The other good note for the Kings was a solid effort by Jonathan Quick in his return from a two-game rest to refresh his mind and refine his technique. He stopped 32 shots in regulation and overtime; in the shootout Corey Perry hit the post behind him and he stopped Teemu Selanne before Saku Koivu lifted the winner over him.
"I felt good," Quick said. "I thought I played a good game. Unfortunately we didn't get the two points."
The Ducks did, though it's likely too late for their playoff chances. But every time the Ducks have been written off this season they've responded with impressive pushes -- and they've cut the gap between them and the eighth playoff spot in the West from 11 points to four in eight days despite playing without Ryan Getzlaf (ankle) and Jonas Hiller (back spasms). Their next opponent? The Kings, on Tuesday, at Anaheim.
Going winless in their first five games after the Olympic break put the Ducks in a deep hole that is probably going to be too much for them to overcome. And the question remains, if they can play as well as they did Saturday and in going 7-2-1 in their previous 10 games, how could they have fallen so far off the pace?
"We just found a way to lose games. We didn't play that bad," said Koivu, who scored the tying goal with 1:32 left in the third period Saturday.
"We've got a lot of new players, new faces, and for whatever reason it kind of took longer for us to really find that rhythm and that style."
Too bad. It would have been fun to have both local teams in the playoffs at the same time, and maybe have them face each other. Barring a miracle for the Ducks, that will have to wait until next season.
-- Helene ElliottPhoto: Anaheim's Mike Brown tries to wrap a shot around the goal against the Kings' Matt Greene (behind net) and Jonathan Quick on Saturday night. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images