Coming In . . .
- Since the Los Angeles Kings win on Sunday over the Detroit Red Wings, the biggest news involving LA was the release of winger Ilya Kovalchuk. Let’s hope Los Angeles remembered they had a game tonight against the Boston Bruins. Interestingly enough about the opponent:
Per source Ilya Kovalchuk wants to sign with a contender and would be OK with a minimum salary. Bruins are interested— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) December 17, 2019
Thankfully, Kovalchuk did not sign early enough to perhaps haunt his old team.
- Despite having one of the best records in the NHL with 48 points, the Boston Bruins had lost five of their last six games. However, they have been especially strong at home, having only one regulation loss at 12-1-5.
- Los Angeles will be going in with the same lineup as the game against Detroit, with Jonathan Quick starting in goal. Tuukka Rask drew the start for the Boston Bruins
On with the Game
In Sunday’s game versus the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings were penalized for a Too Many Men call in the first minute. Tonight, their opponent was the team guilty of it in the first minute. The Kings were able to cash in on their much maligned power play when Blake Lizotte redirected Jeff Carter’s hard pass for the goal:
After the early 1-0 lead for the Kings, the Boston Bruins controlled much of the territorial advantage in the first period. The Bruins pressure forced Jonathan Quick into several tough saves. Boston did, however, tie the game at one late in the first when a Brad Marchand pass was redirected into the net soccer style by Danton Heinen on a power play drawn on a possible flop by Chris Wagner. Fewer pucks deflecting into the net off skates with distinct kicking motions are disallowed these days, as it turns out.
Early in the second period, Trevor Lewis got whistled for a questionable hooking call, given that his stick was not in the hands or body of the Boston player he was defending, Jake DeBrusk. However, it was the Kings taking advantage, thanks to Adrian Kempe’s sensational breakaway goal:
The Bruins interest in Ilya Kovalchuk stems from a need in depth scoring. Coming into the game Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak combined for 56 of the team’s 115 goals. Naturally, any team, let alone the Kings, would have a tough time keeping a line off the score sheet responsible for about half its team’s goals:
The goal tied the game at two after two periods. Boston would take a 3-2 lead early in the third period. They dominated Los Angeles in the period, outshooting the Kings 16 to 8, and maintaining the territorial advantage they had for most of the game. Thanks to Quick, the Kings stayed within striking distance of the Bruins. If the Los Angeles Kings were to lose games this season, it would be a moral win if the loss included the goalie being pulled. With Quick pulled for the extra attacker, Matt Roy would ensure more than just another moral victory, at least another point in the standings:
Jonathan Quick was the story of the game, making 37 saves, much of them timely. If there is a possibility to steal a game despite allowing three goals, tonight’s game very well could be an example. Then again, there was no stealing a game until Anze Kopitar finishes off the game in overtime after a dangerous Boston scoring chance:
Boston can take solace in the fact they still have only one loss at home in regulation after tonight’s game. Ultimately, the Kings showed some heart once again to get a victory in a tough building, against a tough opponent. Earning seven out of a possible eight points on a difficult road trip so far, and a better than .500 record, it’s been a fun ride yet.
Thursday at 4pm, PST, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Perhaps Kale Clague draws into the lineup for the game.