Los Angeles Kings @ Toronto Maple Leafs Game 12 Recap: Touchdown!
The teams on the ice temporarily distracted America from the presidential race and the Kings even converted for the extra point.
Gary Thorne filled in for Bob Miller who, as you well know by now, won't be joining the team on the most arduous of their road trips and boy what a night it was for Thorne.
The Kings visited their home and native land (well, for half the team anyway) and showed off like a bunch of peacocks strutting for all their friends and family. OK, maybe that's taking it a bit far. But, every single Ontario (Canada, not the Reign) native did make it on to score sheet in some fashion.
Canadian goal scorers for LA: Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, Dwight King. Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty picked up assists on King's and Toffoli's goals respectively.
Coming in to the game, the thought was that this could be a relatively interesting matchup between a possession powerhouse and a young, run-and-gun team still learning to play defense together. However, the road team completely embarrassed the home team in every single fashion.
It uh was not even close. At all. Although, interestingly enough, the Kings only had six shots on goal in the first 10 minutes (including an early power play), all from defensemen. Then something unexpected happened. Dustin Brown scored. Yes, THAT Dustin Brown! His second goal of the season came off some great work down in the corner by Nic Dowd and Brown then out waited the shot blocker to move out of the way before snapping the puck between Frederik Andersen 's blocker and left pad.
Despite a late Roman Polak holding penalty, the Kings still failed to capitalize on the man-advantage (not that it mattered in the end). For all the world, at the end of the first period, it appeared that Andersen would be able to keep his team in this one.
But the beginning of the second period brought more of the same: LA pressing with Toronto on their heels. That pressure quickly gave way to LA doubling their lead. Kevin Gravel made a simple play in the neutral zone to chip the puck back into the offensive zone, Anze Kopitar chased it down, threw it over to a slot-crashing Tanner Pearson who cashed in on a shot that seemed to surprise Andersen.
Of course that's the not the best part. Listen to Thorne's call.
This was kind of the beginning of the end for the Leafs. Almost two minutes later, Toffoli got his third goal of the season. It was a short side snipe that maybe Andersen should've had but seriously, as a shooter, Toffoli had enough time to bake a dozen cupcakes, frost them, and still pick his perfect spot.
Not to be outdone by his son, Jeff Carter joined the scoring party less than 10 minutes later. His goal was probably the most stoppable up to this point and it got Andersen the hook. In came Jhonas Enroth but that barely fazed the Kings as Carter scored again just a few minutes later. Since Enroth didn't seal the post properly, Carter, from a terrible angle, bounced it in off the back of Enroth's leg to make it 5-0.
There really wasn't a whole lot to the third period. Nazem Kadri elbowed Alec Martinez and on the subsequent power play, Peter Budaj made things briefly interesting.
Budaj takes a spill: https://t.co/STzXpQib8P#LAKings #LAKvsTOR— Eric Burger (@Kingsgifs) November 9, 2016
Luckily for Budaj, there was no Jonathan Quick -esque moment to ruin his shutout, though it was close.
Clifford's goal was a serious thing of beauty, though.
And for good measure, King rubbed a little salt in the wound in the last minute of play. Trevor Lewis tried to use his favorite Kopitar moved of going behind the net and just throwing something in front and this time it worked. It hit a few bodies in front and eventually went off the skate of King.
Next up: The Montreal Canadiens who are getting away with a high-risk style because they have a brick wall in net. Will the Kings' typical November shooting percentage remain high or will Carey Price get the better of them? Tune in to find out.