The Kings got off to a strong start, thoroughly controlling the play in the first. Nolan and Clifford raced up the ice and Clifford was able to bang home a rebound at 15:55. Unfortunately, they didn't build on that 1-0 start.
The game got tighter in the second as Colorado pushed back. Quick looked much sharper, and made some solid saves to preserve the lead. The most anxious moment came when the Kings were forced to kill a lengthy 5v3 with Doughty in the box; Davis Drewiske, to my surprise and relief, stepped up and did a fine job in his place. But at that point, the Kings were hanging on by their fingernails.
When the third period began, Landeskog's line pinned the Kings in their zone, and his shot deflected off Rob Scuderi's leg past Quick in the first minute. Dustin Penner, to cap off his rough game, took a holding penalty 27 seconds later, and the Avs scored on the power play. (The Kings, by contrast, went 0-for-6.) P.A. Parenteau made it 3-1 at 8:16, and that was the game.
Total scoring chances: LAK 15, COL 16
The Avs had the edge in scoring chances, as recorded by Robert. Each team had 10 chances at even strength, but the Kings managed only 4 in the last two periods.
- 1st Period: 8-2 (6-2 EV)
- 2nd Period: 2-7 (1-3 EV)
- 3rd Period: 5-7 (3-5 EV)
That third period felt like a punch to the gut, but overall, I chalk this up to still shaking off the rust. On the plus side, Davis Drewiske stepped up and had some strong moments. Quick looked stronger too, and is still getting into it; although he wouldn't have been the victim of some bad hops and deflections if the team in front of him had been better.
Kopitar should get better, and Mitchell is supposedly close to returning to the lineup. There's nothing to do but wait and see how they push ahead, and hope the Kings adjust as quickly as possible. Until then, expect Sutter to keep cracking the whip.
1. What do you think needs the most work to get them ready for Edmonton?
2. What positives did you see last night (if any)?
3. How comfortable are you with Drewiske-Muzzin until Mitchell gets back?