LA Kings @ St. Louis Blues Game Eight Recap: Snoozer in St. Louis
It was a tight checking affair with little room for error that made for a painstakingly boring game to watch after a more open tilt against the Nashville Predators.
The Los Angeles Kings hit the road for a brief swing through the central division starting with the St. Louis Blues. And boy was it ever a typical Blues-Kings game.
It was another terrific outing from goaltender Peter Budaj who gave his team every chance to win. Up through 45ish minutes, he'd held off every dangerous advance from the Blues and kept the game scoreless. Then Brayden McNabb went down and a terrible shift later ruined all the hard work he'd put in to that point. Darryl Sutter challenged for offsides and lost. It was a close call and hey, with the way these things work, you never know when it'll swing in your favor.
Anyway, the Jaden Schwartz shot held up as the game winner as LA couldn't complete the comeback and failed to entertain, let alone score a goal. But hey, at least it was a regulation loss so we don't have to worry about the team overextending themselves this early in the season. So that should mitigate a shutout loss to Jake Allen of all goalies.
The Kings had several power plays, looked awful on most of them and didn't even come close except on the final one. But, they were perfect on the penalty kill, so that's good news!
There really isn't much to say about this game. It was a typical tight checking affair with the lowest possible margin for error and the Kings unfortunately made a mistake by leaving Schwartz all alone next to a gaping cage. Budaj had honestly no chance.
Nic Dowd was great again. It's getting repetitive talking about how good he is but he is a seriously bright spot in LA's bottom-six. He works well with Dustin Brown and Andy Andreoff and is truly the play driver on that line.
Devin Setoguchi on the other hand, struggled tonight. He was invisible and had less than 10 minutes of ice time. Part of that probably has to do with all the special teams, especially in the second period, but he still did not look good when he was on the ice.
At this point, it's probably only about four weeks since the news of Marian Gaborik 's injury surfaced. Given that it probably takes about 8 - 12 weeks for a bone to heal, we probably won't see Gaborik until after Christmas. Which means the options for replacing Seto are Jordan Nolan and Teddy Purcell. Since Purcell has been out with an injury and illness, we may see some changes in the future to Jeff Carter's line.
Speaking of changes, it may be Kevin Gravel time, depending on McNabb's injury. It's probably not going to be short term the way Colton Parayko fell on top of him when they both went into the end boards hard, but we'll see.
McNabb in pain after collision with Parayko: https://t.co/obVh0N6iyh#LAKings #LAKvsSTL— Eric Burger (@Kingsgifs) October 30, 2016
Sutter said McNabb will be "reevaluated tomorrow "— lisa dillman (@reallisa) October 30, 2016
In other Kings related news, Jonah Imoo (still with the Ontario Reign on a PTO) is also hurt.
Jonah Imoo has a lower-body injury. "The nightmare continues," Stothers says. Reign had Dusty Imoo bring gear on trip.— Lindsay Czarnecki (@ReignInsider) October 30, 2016
Anders Lindback, whom the Kings are taking a flyer on from Europe, has yet to join the team due to visa restrictions.
Theoretically Jeff Zatkoff should be back on the ice soon. In the mean time, the Kings need to wrap all of their goaltenders in bubble wrap.
The Kings are in Chicago tomorrow night. Should they risk Budaj's hypothetical fatigue (although he wasn't all that busy tonight) or go with major reclamation project Jack Campbell? Let us know in the comments below.
Which goalie would you start versus the Blackhawks?