Ducks’ Ryan Miller upset about giving up shootout winner to Kings’ Anze Kopitar

LOS ANGELES — Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller was upset with himself Saturday. He said he should have known better. He’d seen that move before and should have been ready for it when Kings center Anze Kopitar tried in the second round of a shootout at Staples Center.

Kopitar scored the only goal in the shootout with a deft sleight of hand move that surprised Miller and the Kings edged the Ducks 4-3. Kopitar skated toward the net from the red line and then pulled the puck around Miller with his long reach as he skated toward the left goal post.

“He did it in the other direction two years ago,” Miller said. “It’s not impossible. I should know better. I didn’t want him to get ahead of me on the blocker side. The last three or four shootouts he’s had he shot, so obviously he changed it up. I probably should have set up better.”

Miller doesn’t maintain a physical book on the tendencies of opposing shooters, but he keeps it all in his head. He watches games, as most NHL players do, and files away what he sees and how it worked or didn’t work. His memory is impeccable.

“I just kind of know what’s going on,” he said. “I could probably tell you my whole career, honestly. Probably ever guy’s tendency I’ve seen more than once is probably something I can tell you. But it didn’t work the right way tonight.”

In the end, the Ducks were probably fortunate to have been in a shootout Saturday. Miller was superb during the five-minute overtime period, making four saves, including a point-blank denial of Kopitar, to keep the Ducks and Kings deadlocked at 3-3.

In the shootout, Kopitar was the only one to beat Miller, after Kyle Clifford (power play), Jeff Carter and Carl Grundstrom scored in regulation. Miller made 27 saves in regulation and overtime and was especially sharp in the first two periods, when the Ducks were outshot and outplayed.

Miller rebounded from a shaky performance in his last start, when he saved only 18 of 24 shots in the Ducks’ 6-1 loss March 14 to the Arizona Coyotes. Saturday’s start could be his second-to-last of the season, and perhaps in the 38-year-old’s career.