The New Jersey Devils play a low-event, suffocating style of hockey that's insanely boring to watch. Quite frequently, the Los Angeles Kings are accused of similar so when these two teams match-up, watch out--it's nap time!
As expected, Cory Schneider, who has long been a pain for the Kings since his days in Vancouver, kept this game close on the scoreboard. In the first period, the Kings held the Devils to just four shots on goal. Naturally, the score was 1-0 after 20 minutes, though not for lack of effort.
1st pd: LAK 13-8 ES Corsi, 4-1 scoring chances, 3-1 high-danger...just keep it up against those devilish...Devils— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 19, 2016
In the second period, you can probably already guess who went to work and took over. If you guessed Nic Dowd, give yourself a cookie because you're right! Less than five minutes in, Dowd dangled around Reid Boucher and dished to an open Alec Martinez. Devin Setoguchi and Dustin Brown were both tangled up with Devils defenders in front of Schneider, who had absolutely no chance to see the puck, let alone try and stop it.
— #HockeyFightsCancer (@NHL) November 19, 2016
Tanner Pearson, being the beautiful 70s love child that he is, doubled LA's lead with 100 seconds left in the period. Setoguchi chased down the puck after a long dump and change and the Devils had a little trouble exiting their zone. Jeff Carter and Setoguchi pressured the carrier into turning it over and Pearson was more than happy to take advantage of the free gift with a nice slapshot that leaked through Schneider.
Carter got the eventual game-winner 43 seconds into the final frame. Drew Doughty and Derek Forbort did great work along the boards to start the transition the other way. An ill-timed pinch by a Devils player sprung Carter who used his speed and quick wrist shot to put the puck in the back of the net. Schneider made the initial save but didn't know where the rebound had went and by the time he figured it out, Carter had already scored.
With just about six minutes left in regulation, Dwight King tackled Kyle Quincey to prevent what was almost a sure goal. However, New Jersey did give LA a scare when Nick Lappin scored a 6-on-5 goal. Peter Budaj, who'd been playing decently up to that point, couldn't handle the initial shot from PA Parenteau and sprawled out in a desperate attempt to freeze the puck. While Budaj was prone, Lappin chipped the puck in past the two defenders in the net. Jim Fox mentioned on the broadcast that Lappin dug the puck out from underneath Budaj and perhaps there was some goalie interference, but Kings had already used their timeout and at that point in the game (up 3-2), would it have been worth attempting to challenge the goal?
Shortly thereafter, Jake Muzzin officially sealed the game with a 150-foot empty net goal that he'd lobbed from the hashmarks in his own end.
Next up: The Kings head south to the Ponda Center tomorrow for another installation of the Freeway Faceoff. They'll be back at Staples on (American) Thanksgiving eve on Wednesday to square off against the Islanders.