A three-goal game for the Los Angeles Kings, and it could not have showed up at a better time.
It's been tough sledding for the Kings lately, but they've managed to pull 11 points from 9 games despite scoring just 15 goals. After breaking the two-goal ceiling for the first time in three weeks, is a hot streak coming? After watching the Anaheim Ducks win SEVENTEEN of NINETEEN, they can only hope so. The good news is: that streak only started after a loss to the Kings.
Oops, sorry, did I accidentally link the recap from Game 7 in 2014? My bad. Here's the actual recap of that one.
Anyway, the point is that LA can beat Anaheim, especially given the way they played last night against the Montreal Canadiens. They drew a much tougher assignment than the sacrificial lamb their Anaheim counterparts faced yesterday...
Tippett when asked about giving Treutle the start: pic.twitter.com/3ofJ9gMikM— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) March 4, 2016
... but they were helped in part by Montreal coming off of a shootout loss the night before. It showed at two different times yesterday. The first was in the opening ten minutes, when LA scored twice and the Canadiens got one shot. Anze Kopitar kicked things off by tipping in Alec Martinez's point shot, a clapper which I was expecting to see from PK Subban instead of #27. Unfortunately, we did see one of those later from Subban, after Rob Scuderi made the mystifying decision to throw the puck off the boards behind his own net rather than skating forward. Before that happened, though, Tanner Pearson continued his hot streak, meaning that it was 2-1 after one.
The second time it showed was after a mind-numbing second period, in which the game ground to a halt. LA nonetheless had controlled the puck enough to wear the Habs out, and in the third, they outshot the Canadiens 13-2. Of course, one of those two went in off a crazily bouncing shot, making a foregone conclusion a little less, uh, foregone. But the Kings got a slice of good fortune as well, and if you're looking for a sign that the Kings' lack of shooting success might turn, here it is.
PK Subban isn't just going to fall down in most games, but all the credit in the world for Dwight King for capitalizing. That provided the final margin in a 3-2 win. Aside from that, the only real story was Kris Versteeg making his debut alongside Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson. It's a pretty good place to be.
Pearson shoots through Versteeg to make it 2-0, and Versteeg's gotta be like, "alright alright alright!"— Jewels frm the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) March 4, 2016
Versteeg took an offensive zone penalty as well, but he otherwise looked confident despite his new surroundings. The one time he probably should have attacked more was on a 2-on-1 with Vincent Lecavalier, but he held on a bit too long and had his pass broken up. In the end, he played just ten minutes, but Darryl Sutter got him shifts with Carter, Lecavalier, and Nick Shore. Hopefully he's comfortable wherever he ends up.
This all sets the stage for a Saturday afternoon tilt with the Ducks at Staples. After San Jose came back against the Canucks yesterday, the game is critically important, and LA looks sharp.