Specialty Teams Galore; Kings 3, Bruins 2 (SO)
This game was officially all over the place. The Los Angeles Kings faced the Boston Bruins on Saturday where the former extended its winning streak to five games. Anze Kopitar forced the overtime with his power play goal in the third period and then opened the Kings shootout goals/attempts with a very pretty move that's quickly becoming a specialty for him. Jarret Stoll closed out the game with a beautiful top-shelf shot over Tim Thomas and the Kings are one game away from closing out this road trip successfully.
The up-and-down nature of the entire game was a bit ridiculous, but I can't say I'm really surprised it fell the way it did. The second period was undeniably chaotic and one the Kings need to learn from and then put behind them. Wayne Simmonds was one player who had an eventful first period for himself. First some facts:
Fact: Kopitar had his head down and then was cleanly hit.
Fact: Simmonds stood up for his teammate and received penalties for instigating (2), fighting (5), misconduct (10), and unsportsmanlike conduct (2).
Opinion: 19 minutes of penalties to defend Kopitar is worth it to me. Simmonds was kept completely off the score sheet and mildly disappeared after his stint in the penalty box, but I felt he had a definite presence in the game and I'm not disappointed with his performance whatsoever.
Opinion: Tim Thomas needs a temper check. Jonathan Quick is still solid. He bailed out the Kings numerous times, as per usual, and brought the Kings two points richer in the standings. With the Phoenix Coyotes less than 10 minutes from a win of their own (let's assume they did win), the Kings are in 5th place in the Western Conference with 32 wins and 67 points. This extends Boston's losing streak to seven games while the Kings also extend their streak but in the other way. They face the New Jersey Devils tomorrow afternoon and if the Kings had to fall to a team in the next few days, I wouldn't be completely heartbroken to have it against the Devils. Could you really blame them?