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Postgame/Rank the Players: LA Rolls Early, Hangs on Late

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Mighty impressive, boys.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Clearly, Pittsburgh spent too much time playing beach volleyball during their three off days.

So what did you think of each player on the Los Angeles Kings tonight? Give a thumbs up to any player who you thought did well, and a thumbs down to any player you thought had a rough game. (If you're not sure or if you thought a player was "eh", you can simply skip them.) The players will get ranked based on your votes. GO!

Best American Hockey Players

Some of what happened today:

  • Bet you didn't think I'd lead off with Andy Andreoff, but with Trevor Lewis out of the lineup, he stepped up. His previous high in ice time was 12:16; he played 14:18 in this one, drew a penalty, and got his share of chances.
  • Of course, almost everyone on the ice had scoring chances today. The Kings blitzed the Penguins at the start of the game and didn't let up, carrying a 23-6 shot advantage at the game's midway point and finishing with 24 more shot attempts at even strength.
  • Pittsburgh, however, hung in by getting some good looks of their own despite their lack of pressure. Sidney Crosby was a good example; Jeff Carter defended him well for the most part, but he set up a Chris Kunitz blast and then came up with a nifty deflection to narrow LA's deficit.
  • Evgeni Malkin, on the other hand, had no points for the first time since November 21. Unsurprisingly, Anze Kopitar was on that particular assignment.
  • The difference? Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty, and Christian Ehrhoff, who combined for three goals and six points from the blueline. The other two came from Milan Lucic, who hustled down and elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Toffoli before hustling down the other end for an empty netter later.

More to come in the full recap, including how Marc-Andre Fleury prevented his team from being absolutely trampled.