After the 2nd period:
Kings 0, Phoenix Coyotes 0
The good: Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell returned late in the second period and played two shifts after getting hit in the face with the puck during the first. That’s great news for the Kings, who are 24-11-3 with Mitchell in the lineup this season, and 11-13-1 without. Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier saved seven more shots in the second period, giving him 14 for the game. He has been pretty solid, but he failed to glove an easy shot with about three minutes remaining, leading to a good scoring chance on the put back by Phoenix. Bernier was the tough-luck loser in a 1-0 shootout loss in Minnesota last month. With the lack of good scoring chances for both sides so far, this game is looking as if it could be headed in that direction.
The bad: Another single-digit shot-on-goal effort by the Kings in the second period. After totaling just four shots on goal in the opening period, Los Angeles managed nine in the second. That’s five consecutive shut out periods for Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at Staples Center this season. Michal Handzus has lost seven of eight face offs for the Kings. Otherwise, the Kings would be easily winning that battle.
The in between: The Dustin Penner watch continues. In his first game since getting traded to the Kings from Edmonton, Penner is still looking for his first shot in a Los Angeles uniform. He does have a team-high five hits and two takeaways, so he’s making his presence known in other areas.