Monday, March 7, 2011
Kings: Mitchell gives L.A. a 1-0 lead
By Dan Arritt
After the first period:
Kings 1, Dallas Stars 0
The good: Great shift by the Anze Kopitar, Dustin Penner and Justin Williams line led to the first goal just after the Kings killed a Dallas penalty. The trio helped keep the puck in the Dallas zone for nearly a minute before defenseman Willie Mitchell got off a slap shot that eluded Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. Mitchell is playing with a mean-looking black eye after getting hit with the puck last week against Phoenix. Williams got an assist on the play for his 400th career point. With leading scorer Brad Richards still sidelined with a concussion, the Stars managed just four shots on goal in the period and didn’t get off their first until 9:15 had expired. On the second shot on goal, Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier made a spectacular glove save on Mike Ribeiro's shot while sprawled across the crease on his right side.
The bad: The Kings missed out on another power-play opportunity after Ryan Smyth took a high stick from by Brendan Morrow 3:15 into the game. They went 0-for-6 on the power play in their last game, a 3-1 loss Saturday against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
The in between: The Kings will have the man-advantage for the first 2:45 of the second period after Dallas bad boy Steve Ott was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing Kings enforcer-in-training Kyle Clifford. Ott and Greene had faced off when Clifford came up from behind Ott and wrapped both gloves around his face. As Ott was being pulled away by an official, he jabbed Clifford in the chest with the blade of his stick. You figured there would be some bad blood between the teams after what happened the last time Dallas played at Staples Center. Clifford appears to be a marked man the rest of the way after he laid a big hit on Jamie Benn in the neutral zone with 12 seconds left in the period.