Kings Off To A Shaky Start In Game 2

April, 17, 2010
Here's an interesting wrinkle to start this game -- Wayne Simmonds replacing Justin Williams with Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth on the Kings' first line. Kings obviously hoping that the bigger and more physical Simmonds can create some scoring opportunities for the Kings off his forechecking and aggressive style of play.

Kings get the first power play of the game and look a tad tentative and shaky. No shots on goal during the man advantage. That's a stat and a trend that must change.

Canucks on power play now about eight minutes in. No stick for Brad Richardson and the Canucks capitalize, Steve Bernier banging in the rebound of a shot that clangs off the post to the right of Jonathan Quick. 1-0 Canucks.

Kings back on their heels and the Canucks nearly score again but Quick makes a terrific right pad save.

But then, it happens, Mikael Samuelsson busts across the blue line just before the halfway point of the period and rips a shot that seems to flutter a bit. Quick is out of his net, cutting down the angle, but it somehow beats him on the blocker side. Doesn't look like a great goal, but maybe it's tipped on the way in. Third goal in four periods for Samuelsson so far in this series.

Kings just made a brutal turnover in the neutral zone that nearly leads to goal number three. That is an absolute no-no for LA. All plays through the neutral zone just simply must be hard and heavy. Canucks are just way too quick and the Kings are backing up.

3:30 to go and Smyth fires a shot to the near side and Luongo snags it with his trapper. Best chance for the Kings so far this period.

Kings get a late power play after Dustin Brown draws a tripping penalty. Canucks play a really aggressive box, pressuring the Kings defense. But Brown gets behind the box, with another point blank opportunity on Luongo and tries the same spot Smyth did--high on Luongo's short, trapper, side. This time Luongo smothers it with his shoulder and trapper.

Kopitar just missing a wraparound before the end of the period. He's stopped and the period ends.

Eight shots for the Kings. Only four for Vancouver. But two of them go in for goals.

Tough period for LA. They do a lot of things right, but have nothing to show for it. All they can do is keep doing what they're doing, firing pucks at Luongo, crashing the net and hoping to get something, anything by him.

But they simply must be more careful with the puck in that neutral zone. Turnovers are deadly against this team especially.

More coming after the second period.




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