Ducks Visit Los Angeles for Final Freeway Face-Off of the Season

The Ducks will head north up the freeway today for the season’s penultimate game, facing off with the rival Los Angeles Kings tonight at Arena. “There were 17,000 people who fought their way through lines and traffic to watch us play our last game,” head coach Greg Cronin said of the atmosphere on Fan Appreciation Night. “We had to give them something to feel good about.

When we scored those three goals and there were 12 minutes to go, it was exciting to watch it. We played on our toes. There was a lot of energy directed at their end.”

The Ducks surprised Silfverberg pregame with gifts from owners Henry and Susan Samueli, the team’s training staff and Silfverberg’s teammates, and then honored the longtime Duck with a video message during the first period. “It’s been a different day with a lot of emotions, obviously,” Silfverberg said. “As far as the game, tough start to the game but I think we made a good push in the third and played some really good hockey, gave it a good chance.

The crowd was awesome, especially in the third once we got going a little bit. “I’m really appreciative for what the team has done for me personally and with my family here today,” Silfverberg said. “It’s been an awesome day that me, my kids and my wife will remember forever, that’s for sure.

Even though we didn’t get the result, it’s been an amazing day for me. I’m really happy right now.” While Silfverberg soaked in his final game on home ice as a Duck, his young linemate celebrated a moment 22 years in the making, a first NHL goal that suddenly sparked a Ducks comeback.

Trailing 4-0 early in the third, Colangelo drove the net hard and, thanks to an assist from eager Ducks fans, realized the rebound was still free. “I just tried to get to the netfront,” Colangelo said. “Shot coming in from the point, I just tried to get to the net-front.

Honestly, I thought the goalie saved it. I looked down and it was sitting right there and I just did anything I could to get my stick on it and get it over the goal line. “Honestly, I think the crowd is what made me realize the puck was still free.

I heard them kind of go nuts and I looked and it was there…It was a cool feeling.” Anaheim would get back within a goal before the midway mark of the third period, but two more goals from winger Andrei Kuzmenko clinched his second career hat trick and Calgary’s 6-3 triumph. “I think the future’s bright around here,” Cam Fowler said.

“So many young players who are ready to take that next step. So I know the fans are all excited about that, just as we are as players, and I hope that carries into next season and we’re competing for a playoff spot.” The loss dropped Anaheim to 26-49-5 on the season with two games still to play and capped the club’s home slate at 12-26-3.

The Ducks now meet the rival Kings for the second time this week, hoping to replicate a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at Honda Center. The Kings went ahead early that night on Akil Thomas’ second career NHL goal, but the Ducks would take control early in the third with tallies from Alex Killorn and Trevor Zegras. “It did have like a playoff feel, in terms of the pace to start the game,” Killorn said of the win.

“I thought our team played great against a really good team…I think our team is kind of finding our way and we want to end the season with a good momentum going for next year.” LA shook off the setback Thursday with a 4-1 win over Calgary, clinching its third straight postseason berth in the process. “Each season, it’s a new season,” interim coach Jim Hiller told’s Dan Greenspan.

“It goes back to [September]. Everybody who’s been involved has been a part of the team reaching the playoffs. I think everybody should be proud of that.

It’s a hard thing to do. And more importantly, it’s exciting because now you get to take the next step. You’ve earned the right to take the next step.” The Kings sit third in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Golden Knights with three games still to play on their regular-season schedule.

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