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Kings: The penalty kill is alive and well

11/5/2010

At the end of the 2nd period: Kings 0, Tampa Bay Lightning 0

The good: One of the most consistent areas of the Kings this season has been their penalty kill. They came in tied for third in the league in that category, having giving up only five goals against 48 power plays. They killed the lone power play in the second period. In fact, they had the best scoring chance when Ryan Smyth tipped away a pass near the blue line and Anze Kopitar had a breakaway coming down the left side. He cut across the crease and tried to slip it by the glove side of Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith, but he managed to slide over and make the save. Of course, one of the reasons the penalty kill has been so stellar is goalie Jonathan Quick, who has stopped 18 shots through two periods.

The bad: The Kings managed just seven shots on goal in the second period, including two on their own power play. After a blistering start, their scoring chances are coming few and far between. Despite having played Wednesday night in Anaheim, the Lightning also seem to have a step on the Kings. It will be interesting to see if that changes in the third period.

The in between: The Kings earned their power play midway through the second period when Kopitar was checked hard into the end boards by Mathieu Roy at the end of a 3-on-2, drawing a two-minute interference penalty. Like his linemate Dustin Brown in the first period, Kopitar spent a few minutes on the ice recovering from the collision. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two of the Kings best players getting illegally slammed into the boards and none of their teammates have dropped their gloves in defense. The same issue was raised earlier this season when Kings defenseman Drew Doughty incurred a questionable hit from Erik Cole of Carolina and nobody from the Hurricanes was given a reminder to stay away from their star players.