Thursday, January 6, 2011
Kings: Two-goal lead doesn't last long
By Dan Arritt
After the 2nd period:
Nashville Predators 3, Kings 2
The good: We mentioned in the game preview the success both teams have had when scoring first. Well, the Kings did the honors against Nashville. Unfortunately, they’ve lost the last two games after taking a 1-0 lead and things aren’t going well tonight. Marco Sturm, playing his first game on the third line with Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll, took a shot at Nashville goalkeeper Anders Lindback and the puck was rebounded out to Clifford, who back-handed it into the net 2 minutes 16 seconds into the second period. Stoll, who like Sturm, was demoted to the third line before this game, gave the Kings a 2-0 lead when he scored on a power play with 12:03 remaining, his first goal since Dec. 2. The Predators have been aggressive attacking the puck when a man down, and the Kings made them pay when Ryan Smyth found Stoll wide open in the slot.
The bad: Talk about a buzz kill at Staples Center. After taking the two-goal lead, the Kings gave up three straight goals in a 5 ½-minute span. Just nineteen seconds after Stoll scored, Clifford took a hooking penalty and the Predators made the Kings pay as Ryan Suter appeared to wind up for a shot, but instead passed to Colin Wilson on the right side of the net and he one-timed the puck past Jonathan Bernier. Just over a minute later, Wilson took a shot on goal and a long rebound came off Bernier and went directly to Marek Svatos who hit nothing but net. The Predators went on their second power play of the game after Matt Greene was called for interference and Wilson made the Kings pay again, blasting a shot just inside the left post. The Kings, who were No. 1 in the league on the penalty kill heading into their last game against the Flyers, have allowed four goals in the last six man-advantage situations. The Kings must be watching too many Ducks’ games. The Kings haven't blown a two-goal lead and lost since April.
The in between: After the third goal by Nashville, Kings forward Wayne Simmonds took out his frustrations on Francis Bouillon and bloodied his nose with several straight rights. Bouillon is the fourth Nashville player to head to the locker room for treatment. It was easily Simmonds best fight of the year, but the Kings didn’t seem to generate much energy from his effort.