Kings: Week In Review
The Kings collected 6 points before losing to the Canuck's last night in Vancouver, 5-2. Los Angeles' winning streak and Jeff Carter's goal streak came to an end after five games.
It was a week of vengenace as the Kings defeated Colorado, Anaheim and Detroit - all teams they lost to in their first go round. The Kings fell to Vancouver a team they beat 3-2 in January. Today the Kings sit in last place in the Pacific Division and 11th in the Western Conference. After Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Detroit the Kings moved to second in the Pacific and fifth in the West. With a condensed and strictly-Western laden schedule the standings will remain precarious over the next couple of weeks.
The Kings have played the least amount of games in the west (19 - tied with Calgary) forcing the standings to be taken with a grain of salt.
Saturday, 2-23: Kings beat Avalanche, 4-1.
Goal: Dustin Brown (5) Assists: Justin Williams (6), Anze Kopitar (7)
Goal: Jeff Carter (9) Assists: Mike Richards (7), Slava Voynov (5)
Goal: SH Trevor Lewis (2) Assist: Jarrett Stoll (1)
Goal: Kopitar (5) Assists: Dustin Penner (2), Dwight King (2)
Jonathan Quick 23/24 - .958 save percentage
The Kings and the Avalanche headed into the game with momentum. The Kings jumped to a 2-0 lead after the end of the first period. Scoring early and often has been a weakness for the Kings but they had no problem setting the tempo and getting the lead.
Play of the game: Jarrett Stoll dove head first to block at the top of the zone on a Colorado power play. After locating the puck Stoll found Lewis streaking down the side who was able to fire in the short handed goal giving the Kings a 3-1 lead and crushing any chance Colorado had in coming back.
Monday, 2-25: Kings beat Ducks, 5-2:
Goal: Dustin Penner (1) Assists: Jarret Stoll (2), Dwight King (3)
Goal: Dustin Brown (6) Assists: Anze Kopitar (8), Justin Williams (7)
Goal: Slava Voynov (3) Assists: Kopitar (9), Brown (4)
Goal: PP Jake Muzzin (2) Assists: Kopitar (10), Voynov (6)
Goal: EN Jeff Carter (10) Assists: Mike Richards (8), Drew Doughty (8)
Jonathan Quick: 24/26 - .923 save percentage
Despite trailing twice the Kings took the lead in the middle of the third period with Slava Voynov's third of the season. Behind a three assist performance by Kopitar and scoring from different lines and positions the Kings looked as balanced as they ever have this season.
Play of the game: Jarret Stoll led the puck to a cutting Dustin Penner for the Kings first goal of the night. Stoll was trailing from behind with a limited window to fit the puck but made the pass allwoing Penner to adjust his stick and lead the puck into the net.
Wednesday, 2-27: Kings beat Red Wings, 2-1.
Goal: Jeff Carter (11) Assist: Mike Richards (9), Anze Kopitar (11)
Goal: Kopitar (6) Assist: Dwight King (4), Trevor Lewis (3)
Jonathan Bernier: 28-29 - .970 save perenctage
Back-up goalie Jonathan Bernier continued his succesful season allowing only one goal and stuffing the Red Wings ferocious final flurry to seal the game. The Kings should resiliance after being stifled in the first two periods. Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar, the two offensive leaders, broke open the game late with highlight reel worthy goals.
Play of the game: The Kings first goal of the game was the best. Spinning in front of the crease, Jeff Carter received a Kopitar pass from the slot and redirected the pass between his legs and into the net.
Saturday, 3-2: Canucks beat Kings, 5-2.
Goal: PP Justin Williams Assists: Jake Muzzin (2), Anze Kopitar (12)
Goal: Jordan Nolan (unassisted)
Jonathan Quick: 19-23 - .826 save percentage
The Kings never got on track and Quick struggled with the accurate Cancuks' shooters. Throughout the game Los Angeles seemed out of place and a step behind of the agile and quick-passing Sedin brothers and Vancouver forwards.
Play of the game: Anytime the Sedin brothers had the puck. Anze Kopitar fell victim to a quick and knee-buckling cross over by Daniel behind the net. The play did not result in a goal but the sight of Daniel's handle and Kopitar's shock along with the "ooh and aah" of Vancouver fans made it worthwhile.
The 5-2 loss in Vancouver leaves a sour taste but it was the Kings best week of the season. Offensively the Kings have gotten on track and with more consistancy on extra man opportunities the Kings goals/game average will rise. While Carter and Kopitar are the offensive leaders, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown are the catalysts for pressure and enthusiasm.
Jonathan Bernier's stellar performances have not gone unnoticed. Look for him to continue to get more starts especially with Quick's shaky outings.
Three Stars of the Week:
Third Star: Slava Voynov - With Drew Doughty struggling in the offensive zone Voynov has taken over as the defenseman generating offense. The defenseman leads the team in +/- with +9. Voynov's defensive game matches his offensive attack: He's physical but restrained with a rocket shot and touch.
Second Star: Jeff Carter - Carter leads the team with 11 goals with three coming this week. A sloppy game against the Canucks ended his five game scoring streak but Carter will remain the focus of every defense the Kings face.
First Star: Anze Kopitar - Vision, size, touch ... Kopitar has it all and has finally started to roll. His slow start (coming off a shoulder injury) led to an anemic beginning for the Kings in the offensive zone. When Kopitar gets going he's one of the best in the league. Kopitar finished the week with two goals and six assists.
The Kings play all four games this week at the Staples Center.
Monday, March 4th - Nashville Predators (7:30)
Tuesday, March 5th - St. Louis Blues (7:30)
Thursday, March 7th - Dallas Stars (7:30)
Saturday, March 9th - Calgary Flames (7)