Thursday, April 21, 2011
Kings: Goalies dominate in scoreless first period
By Dan Arritt
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 4 (San Jose leads best-of-seven series, 2-1)
After the 1st period:
Kings 0, San Jose Sharks 0
The good: If the opening period was any indication, this game won’t be the shootout Game 3 was, when the Sharks stormed from four goals down to win in overtime, 6-5. Both goalies are playing as if they have a lot to prove after that game. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made several brilliant saves on the 13 shots he faced, including a pair of world-class stops on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the period that lasted 1:22. Both attempts came on cross passes to an open side of the net, but Quick slid across the crease in time to bat both redirections away. Michal Handzus and Rob Scuderi also deserve an assist on that penalty kill, as both were on the ice for the entire two-man disadvantage. San Jose goalie Antti Niemi, who was pulled from Game 3 after giving up four goals in just over a period, knocked down a couple of good chances from Wayne Simmonds and another from Kyle Clifford during the best shift of the period for the Kings, which started about six minutes into the game.
The bad: The Kings had their own 5-on-3, although theirs lasted only 13 seconds. The back-to-back penalties seemed to give them some momentum, but defenseman Drew Doughty nearly threw a bucket of cold water on his team when he committed a turnover at the blue line during the second power play, whch nearly resulted in a 2-on-1 goal. Joe Thornton then stole the puck off Doughty's stick in offensive zone and passed Patrick Marleau for an open look but Quick snuffed out that chance as well.
The in between: Dustin Penner has definitely caught the attention of Kings fans. Penner, who broke a 14-game point-less streak with an assist last game but was then caught behind the play on the winning overtime goal, was booed when the starting lineups were announced. Penner did not manage any shots in the opening period but he did record a hit.