Monday, April 25, 2011
Kings: Quick leads way in scoreless first period
By Dan Arritt
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 6 (San Jose leads best-of-seven series, 3-2)
After the 1st period:
Kings 0, San Jose Sharks 0
The good: The Kings survived a barrage of shots from the Sharks and got out of the opening period scoreless. They were out-shot, 16-5, but goalie Jonathan Quick appears on his game again and he managed to keep the puck out of the net. The defense also did a good hob collapsing around the net and sweeping away the rebounds. The Kings are winning the physical battle, out-hitting the Sharks, 26-16, led by Kyle Clifford, Matt Greene and Trevor Lewis with four each. By comparison, they had 36 hits in all of Game 4. That game was also scoreless after the first period, but the Kings allowed three goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second period and lost, 6-3.
The bad: The Kings had to white-knuckle their way through most of the opening 20 minutes. They were getting out-shot, 11-1, when Kings coach Terry Murray saw enough and called a timeout with 7:52 remaining. It must have worked because the Kings played better from then on. Still, the Kings can’t continue to give up shots at this pace. They allowed 52 in Game 5 and Quick saved them in the 3-1 victory. Justin Williams had one of the best scoring chances and he didn’t even take the shot. A rebound off Quick came out long to the blue line and Williams was the only one there. He had a head start on the defense coming into the offensive zone, but elected to cut back on a defender rather than take an open shot from the left face-off circle and the puck was swiped off his stick. Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi had three giveaways in the first 8 ˝ minutes. Dustin Brown, Michal Handzus and Ryan Smyth also looked a step behind the rest.
The in between: Wayne Gretzky is in the house, but even he looked a little distraught watching the Kings get out-played in the opening period.