Thursday, January 20, 2011
Kings: Rookie makes presence known in scoreless period
By Dan Arritt
After the 1st period:
Kings 0, Phoenix Coyotes 0
The good: Andrei Loktionov was called up from Manchester with a short stopover in Ontario (that’s Ontario, California) of the East Coast Hockey League. He didn’t waste any time getting into the action. Starting on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, Loktionov initiated a prime scoring chance in the opening minutes, flicking the puck at Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from a side angle. The puck caromed off Bryzgalov and was headed toward the goal line when he kicked it away. The Kings limited the Coyotes to six shots on goal, allowing goalie Jonathan Quick to ease himself back into the game after his major third-period gaffe Tuesday that allowed the winning goal in St. Louis
The bad: The Kings failed to capitalize on another power play. That makes 14 consecutive man-advantage situations without a goal, a span that covers 16 periods. The Kings did get off a couple of good shots on the power play, but you have to be right on target to beat Bryzgalov. He doesn’t give away many cheap ones. Pretty sparse crowd here at Staples Center as well. Phoenix isn’t known for drawing good crowds, even in its own arena, so not that’s surprising. You can probably count the number of Phoenix fans in attendance on one hand. Throw in nine losses in the last 11 games for the Kings and a lot of people probably stayed home to watch the Clippers.
The in between: The Kings totaled 10 shots on goal in the opening period, but half of them were from defenseman. In fact, Willie Mitchell, who is great at using his stick to poke the puck away from opposing forwards but not so good for shooting, had a team-high three shots on goal, as well as three others that missed the net.