The Los Angeles Kings were hosting division rival last night, the Dallas Stars in an epic game that will stick to both these teams' minds forever. The Kings had pulled of a deal at the deadline, sending Patrick O'Sullivan and a second round pick to Carolina for Justin Williams in a 3 way deal that also saw Erik Cole go back to Carolina for Patrick O'Sullivan and the 2nd rounder, who went to the Oilers. Then Edmonton used that 2nd pick to acquire Ales Kotalik from Buffalo. Justin Williams is currently on IR.
After a scoreless first period, the Dallas Stars just exploded, scoring 3 straight goals in the 2nd period, goals from Louis Eriksson, Mike Ribeiro and rookie James Neal. 3 minutes later, the Kings cut the lead to 2 with a goal from Michal Handzus on the power play and soon after Alexander Frolov scores his 27th goal of the year. Right before the end of the period, the Stars went back up 2 goals when Steve Ott put the puck past Erik Ersberg, who let 4 goals on 19 shots in 2 periods.
Erik Ersberg got pulled and Jon Quick came in for the 3rd period, where the come back began. At 16:42, Handzus slims the lead to 1 on a 5-3 power play, with his second of the game, and with 15 seconds left in the game, Anze Kopitar ties the game. In the 1st minute of overtime, who other then Handzus, with his 2nd career hat trick and 14th goal of the year, wins the game for the Kings with his deadly wrap-around, which he used against the Ottawa Senators to win the game too. Zeus' deadly wrap-around!Â This win puts the Kings 5 points out of a playoff spot, and is only their 2nd home win in the last 9.
Now let's talk about the O'Sullivan-Justin Williams deal. Some people might scratch their heads, asking themselves “what is Lombardi thinking?”. This is the way Dean Lombardi looks at this deal… Justin Williams is a proven 30 goals scorer with a Stanley Cup ring. He brings size to our winger position, which we lack, and is still young, 27 years old. He's a leader in the locker room and will help the young kids, like Trevor Lewis, Teddy Purcell, Matt Moulson, Wayne Simmonds, Justin Azevedo and Oscar Moller develop. Patrick O'Sullivan is a hell of a player, he's got theÂ assetsÂ to be a 30-35 goal scorer, with his incredible skills and smooth skating. Lombardi somewhat contradicted himself when he pulled this deal, since he mentioned that this rebuild would mean not ruining our core, and Patrick O'Sullivan was supposed to be one of those “core” players. He had a great relationship with Kopitar and Dustin Brown, seeing colossal time on their lines last season. O'Sullivan held out at the beginning of the season because of a contract dispute with the Kings' management, which is one of the possible reasons for this deal. O'Sullivan never went into the corners and was rarely getting his nose dirty. Unfortunately life moves on, so do the rest of us, we all wish him the best in Edmonton and hopefully the trade won't backfire on any of the teams. Williams will play on the first line with Frolov and Kopitar once he comes off IR, but in the mean time, Terry Murray and Dean Lombardi will be asking big minutes out of Oscar Moller and Teddy Purcell.
Go Kings Go
Aziz “AK47″ Khalil, Crown Authority
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Written by Aziz Khalil