Devils @ Kings Recap: Who Wants to See Some Breakdowns?

And I'm not talking about when I broke down in tears after the fourth goal.

New Jersey 5, Los Angeles 3. Let's get the good stuff out of the way before I force you to look at all five New Jersey Devils goals.

[Box Score]

In the high point of tonight's game, Drew Doughty made an absolutely dazzling play on the Los Angeles Kings' first goal, after Brayden McNabb gave him the puck in his own half. After a blueline sidestep that left defenseman Jon Merrill dumbfounded and flailing, Doughty got to the goal line and delivered Dustin Brown a tap-in goal, his first in eighteen games.

That was the highlight-reel play, but LA actually had some other decent stretches. Jim Fox emphasized, multiple times, that the Kings started off the second period well. In the first period, they drew penalties on good scoring chances! And in the third... well, they were down by four, so I'm not gonna give Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams that much credit for their late goals. Darryl Sutter did, to an extent, but it didn't matter much given that New Jersey had scored five goals in twenty minutes.

Here are the five goals, showing the approximate moment where things went wrong for LA on each one.

19:46, 1st Period: Steve Bernier (PPG)


After coming up empty three times on the power play in the first period, New Jersey scored on their only opportunity. Bernier never really got a good whack at this, though with Matt Greene and Martin Jones jostling with Bernier in the crease, the puck found its way in. That can happen when there's this much room in the crease to start with.

8:57, 2nd Period: Steve Bernier (PPG)


Jones once again had to deal with a relatively unchallenged Bernier and a defenseman in his crease. Bernier got this pass from Scott Gomez and flicked a backhand, which ended up going in off Doughty. For the second time, that's Greene challenging up high, only to make a mad dash back down low a little too late.

9:20, 2nd Period: Martin Havlat


Jones was pulled for Jonathan Quick after this goal, scored by Martin Havlat (to the left of this frame). Havlat was being defended by Alec Martinez (the only King not in this frame); the other four Kings were advancing up-ice until Patrik Elias got in the way and whipped the puck back to Havlat. His knuckling shot beat Jones, and Sutter decided it was time for a goalie change.

10:05 , 2nd Period: Mike Cammalleri


The goalie change didn't work. Quick made the initial save on Michael Ryder, who was part of New Jersey's 4-on-2 rush into the zone, but it took him way out of the net. This is actually one where you may want to watch the video; essentially, all of the Kings (including Quick) scramble around while the Devils attempt to find the mostly vacated net. Cammalleri eventually does.

17:05, 2nd Period: Michael Ryder

Ryder got in on the action near the end of the second. Much like the third goal, it involved four players from each team up high and a one-on-one down low. Ryder got inside position and flipped a shot past Quick. Quick ended up stopping five of seven shots, which was only slightly worse than the ten of thirteen which Jones stopped.

After a shutout of Toronto which provided some hope in the Kings' patchwork defense, tonight's game erased all of that. The above shows how out of position the team often was tonight, and the goalies simply weren't able to make the stops when they got tested. Look for Jamie McBain, Nick Shore, and Jonathan Quick on Saturday, and try not to freak out about the opponent: Anaheim.