Well, that was draining.
The game was played very evenly at even strength. It turned out that special teams made a huge difference.
Let's take a closer look at the even strength results and match-ups:
(if you're new to this stuff click here to see our explanation)
- I can't remember the last time I did one of these where the Kings weren't ahead in the possession numbers.
- Both top lines were effective. The Kopitar line was matched against Pahlsson. The Sedin Line against Stoll. We speculated this would happen here. I also speculated elsewhere that Stoll vs Sedin was a dangerous matchup in that Stoll takes penalties at a team leading rate. This reared its head tonight.
- Kesler was also a strong line for the 'Nucks. They were matched against Richards and Doughty.
- Interesting that both 4th lines were ineffective. When not playing against one another Stoll attacked the Vancouver 4th line while Fraser had to deal with Sedin and Kesler aside from Malhotra.. It looks like they'll have a tough task as well in game 2 and perhaps without Kyle Clifford. Loktionov in or Westgarth? Little Baby Lokti gets my vote.
- Conclusion: The Kings bottom 9 needs to be better in game 2, as they were uncharacteristically top heavy in this one.
Even Strength Line Combinations:
(click below for fancy pantsy Matchup Charts)
- L1 = Brown-Kopitar-Williams
- L2 = King-Richards-Carter
- L3 = Penner-Stoll-Lewis
- L4 = Clifford-Fraser-Nolan
- L1 = Raymond-Bedin-Burrows
- L2 = Booth-Kesler-Lapierre
- L3 = Higgins-Pahlsson-Hansen
- L4 = Bitz-Malohtra-Kassian
- D1 = Hamhuis-Salo
- D2 = Bieksa-Edler
- D3 = Tanev-Rome