Happy Birthday Dustin Brown! The Kings beat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time at Staples Center in a chippy 1 goal game. Jonathan Quick registered his 1st shutout of the season, shutting down scoring leader Steven Stamkos and company.
Despite being a 1-0 game, it was anything but uneventful. Let’s look at some of the more noteworthy talking points.
Hats off to:
-Obviously, Quick. He stopped all 24 shots-against on his way to improving to 8-1-0 on the season.
-Team Defense. 24 shots against indicates a pretty good job of limiting scoring chances. They also did a remarkable job of limiting quality shots.
-Williams. His goal was the epitome of poise under pressure. He had absolutely no angle to shoot, but rather than fling a weak backhander on net, he stopped, pulled the puck to his forehand, and potted an easy goal.
-Smyth. His beautiful saucer pass led directly to the goal.
-Doughty. First game back and he didn’t look out of place at all on his way to 24:44 of ice-time.
-Tampa Bay’s Mike Smith. He came into the game undefeated with 4 wins, but his save percentage and goals against left something to be desired. However, tonight his numbers were great, stopping all but 1 of the Kings’ 26 shots. It was the win that eluded him this time.
Boos of derision at:
-Steve Downie. At his best he’s a chippy player with skill. At his worst he’s a dangerous player that plays with too much emotion and too little restraint. Downie’s target was obviously Drew Doughty, fresh off his concussion. Doughty delivered a charge on Downie early in the 3rd period when Downie turned his back to play a puck. Late in the 3rd and down by a goal, Downie took a run at Doughty and missed, then decided some roughing was in order. Mitchell stepped in to stand up for the star defenseman and after the linesmen stepped in BOTH players threw late punches. The difference was Downie felt he was somehow special and demanded the ref penalize Mitchell for his late punch. Instead, Downie got a fighting major and a game misconduct. Mitchell got a fighting major.
-Kings power play. Going 0 for 4 isn’t great. However, the Kings didn’t even look threatening on the man-advantage. Kudos to the Lighting penalty kill, fast and hungry for the puck.
-Ohlund for his board on Brown. Brown was clearly in a vulnerable position and in this blogger’s opinion Ohlund had time to stop.
The Kings improve to 9-3-0 on the season, but Quick made a good point in his post game interview; 1st place right now doesn’t mean anything. Getting 2 points every night is what is important.
Los Angeles will face-off against Nashville on Saturday at 7:00 pm PT at Staples Center.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney