Jonathan Quick did all he could.
The posts behind him helped on a couple occasions, but Quick was everything the Los Angeles Kings needed to break out of their five-game losing streak, which they entered Friday wearing like a ball and chain.
But while Quick was solid in the crease, making 29 saves, the men in front of him couldn’t replicate their goalie’s performance in a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings have now lost six straight and just two of their past 10 and are tied with four teams, including the Ducks, who sit on 53 points and just outside the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
The Ducks-Kings rivalry has become quite the grind ’em out slugfest over time, and despite their recent downward spiral, the Kings weren’t going to roll over and die when the puck dropped, even if they played 24 hours earlier.
This rivalry doesn’t allow for one team to not show up, despite whatever mitigating circumstances may be available.
And neither team was giving the other any allowances, evidenced by a 0-0 scoreline after 40 minutes.
The Ducks struck first in the third frame as Adam Henrique finally willed a puck behind Quick, who had puzzled Anaheim’s offense for 42 minutes and change.
Henrique’s individual effort on the goal began a few seconds earlier as he won a foot race to the puck to get it into the Ducks’ zone, dove to make sure it stayed there and they got up and went to the net, where he picked up a loose puck that and put it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 17:55 mark.
That lead was shortlived, however.
The Kings struck back two-and-a-half minutes later as some extended offensive zone time by the Kings resulted in Alex Iafallo flicking a puck up and over John Gibson off a rebound to ruin his shutout bid at 4:48.
The Ducks would get the final say.
Jakob Silfverberg‘s excellent forecheck kept the Kings from clearing the puck out of their zone.
The puck found its way to the point, where Francois Beauchemin unleashed a high point shot that was redirected down and under Quick by Ryan Kesler for the eventual game-winner.
Gibson’s night may have been a little quieter than his counterpart 200-feet away, but he was on point when he needed to be, making 23 of 24 saves, including getting just enough on Iafallo’s second-period shot to steer it off the post and out to keep the game 0-0 at that point.
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck