The Los Angeles Kings have already played the Carolina Hurricanes once this year: a 3-0 result at home where they won despite being outshot 40 to 28. The Hurricanes seem to be Corsi'ing with the best of them this season. Turns out, all they needed was the same luck the Kings seemed to find in their first meeting. Oh, and seven penalties helps too.
That's the number of Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk. He scored two goals against the Kings, and all eight of his goals this year came on the power play. He has been a top NHL defenseman, yet he toils away in obscurity in Raleigh.
The number that is dear to our hearts, Anze Kopitar. He seems unfazed by inconsistent linemates and was happy to pot two goals for the Kings on Sunday, his first multi-goal game this year. He got very excited about the first goal. We did too Kopi! Sorry the game didn't work out. Kopitar is now third on the team with his seven goals, yet he only has three assists.
Let's look at the goal. Kopitar steals a zone clearing attempt and easily picks his corner on the net. There were even other Kings on the ice. The video proves it!
With the one goal lost last night, it's been ten games since the Kings have lost a game by more than one goal. You have to go back to the November 2nd contest against the Chicago Blackhawks to find a loss by two goals. The Kings were in that one until the end too, yet gave up a short-handed goal within the final two minutes. Regardless of their record in the past handful of games, they're never out of a game.
Eight minutes, 31 seconds to be exact. This was rookie Jordan Weal's time on ice for the game. It was his third appearance for the Kings and his highest TOI yet. He even had more time on ice than his linemates, Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan. Let's hope we see more of the kid soon, though maybe his chance was a combination of the fourth line's bad game against the Detroit Red Wings and the fact that the Kings play a back-to-back Monday. Nevertheless, Weal went 50% in the faceoff circle, something the Kings struggled with, and generated a scoring chance. He also wasn't on the ice for a goal. Things are looking up!
The Kings took seven penalties this game. This is easily double over any acceptable amount. Thanks to the penalties, the Hurricanes enjoyed two five-on-three man advantages, one for a full two minutes, and potted two power play goals, both by Justin Faulk. Drew Doughty was a repeat offender this game and has now gone seven games in a row with at least one minor penalty.
The Kings have had one penalty shot this year. The Kings also have one goal from a penalty shot this year thanks to Dustin Brown. Rookie Noah Hanifin covered the puck in the crease and seemed upset about it afterward. Dustin Brown now leads the Kings in penalty shot goals this year. Can anyone else catch up to him?
The Kings now sit second in the Pacific behind the Sharks after two straight losses. They do have a game in hand, though, and could catch the Sharks with a win against the Florida Panthers today. Still, it's hard to be upset about the King's performance in the game outside the mountain of penalties. They led shot attempts and scoring chances handily all game. One of the goals against was a fan on a clearing attempt before Alec Martinez's skate created an own goal. That's just bad luck, but hey, it's also tradition.