Thursday, March 17, 2011
Kings: Westgarth provides all the action
By Dan Arritt
After the first period:
St. Louis Blues 1, Kings 0
The good: No doubt, the highlight of the first period was Kevin Westgarth's one-sided bout against Cam Janssen of the Blues in the above video. After that, it was all downhill for the Kings. Westgarth and Janssen dropped their gloves two minutes into the game and exchanged blows for a solid 60 seconds. Westgarth landed the better combination and skated toward the penalty box with his patented hair flick and clap of the hands. The Kings also prevented St. Louis from scoring on two power plays, running their streak of successful penalty kills to 25.
The bad: If the Kings don’t begin to play better, they might want to change the theme of this game to Money-Back Night. They were out-shot, 13-2, matching their lowest shot on goal period of the season. The Kings had nine giveaways compared to just one for St. Louis, a team that features a handful of players who have spent more time in the AHL than the NHL this season. They’ve even managed to lose 12 of 20 face offs. If that’s not bad enough, Kings rookie Kyle Clifford got dropped by a big right hand from Ryan Reaves about five seconds into their fight. Clifford, who gives up about 25 pounds to Reaves, looked wobbly as he headed to the locker room, so it’ll be interesting if he’s OK to continue.
The in between: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 12 shots in the opening period, including a great point-blank save on Chris Porter midway through, but he gave up a bad rebound on Adam Cracknell's wrist shot from the face-off circle, sending the puck straight out in front of the goal where Matt D’Agostini had a wide open net to hit with 3:30 remaining.