Monday, January 3, 2011
Kings: After early domination by L.A., Chicago scores late to tie score
By Dan Arritt
After the 1st period:
Kings 1, Chicago Blackhawks 1
The good: For the first 18 minutes, the Kings dominated like never before this season. They out-shot the Blackhawsks, 10-0, through the first 8 ˝ minutes, then took a 1-0 lead on a goal by defenseman Jack Johnson one second after the Kings’ first power play ended. The possession started when Michal Handzus stole a clearing pass from Brent Seabrook, setting up a scramble in front of the net. The puck was deflected out to Johnson, who scored on a slap shot from the high slot. Handzus and Alec Martinez received assists on the play. The Kings are 17-4-0 when scoring first this season.
The bad: Even though the Kings owned much of the first period and out-shot Chicago, 13-6, overall, the Blackhawks managed to tie the score with 1:18 left on a power-play goal by Marian Hossa. Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi was sent to the box for a questionable interference penalty and, about a minute later, Hossa carried the puck along the goal line from the right-wing boards, skated into the crease and beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on the far side. Drew Doughty was in position to knock Hossa off the puck, but he chose to play the pass and left Hossa untouched. One other thing, Staples Center looks to be only about 60% full thanks to the 6 p.m. start time.
The in between: The Kings probably should have scored three goals in the first period. In addition to their 13 shots on goal, they also missed the net on 12 others. They need to keep up the pace and not get frustrated that Chicago tied the score late. The Blackhawks played last night in Anaheim, so the Kings should have the advantage as the game wears on.