Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Kings take control vs. Preds after two
By Dan Arritt
After the 2nd period:
Kings 4, Nashville Predators 2
The good: After a pedestrian start to the period, the Kings reclaimed their two-goal lead. The second line combined on the first goal midway through the period. A turnover in the neutral sent forwards Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner and Mike Richards off on a 3-on-2. Brown brought the puck down the left side and slid it to Richards on his right. Penner sucked the defense into the middle and Richards dropped to one knee and slapped a one-timer past Nashville goalie Anders Lindback for his third goal of the season and a 3-2 lead. One second after the Kings third power play of the game expired, Simon Gagne nudged a loose puck across the goal line for a 4-2 lead. Penner also assisted on the goal for his first multi-point game since Feb. 12 and first in 32 games with the Kings. Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll continue to be strong in the faceoff circle, combining to win 17 of 24 drops.
The bad: Another penalty in the opening seconds of the period, and again the guilty party was Stoll, who now as two assists and two penalties. To his defense, the referees also appear to be having a tough night making the right calls (or no calls). The Kings went the first eight minutes without a shot on goal and it appeared the game would be repeat of Monday’s effort against San Jose, when the Kings out-shot the Sharks, 14-7, in the opening period, only to get blown out, 21-7, in the second en route to getting outscored, 3-0 in the 4-2 loss. The Kings have 16 giveaways, led by Willie Mitchell with three.
The in between: Nashville lost leading scorer David Legwand to an upper-body injury during the first period and he’s not expected to return. Legwand has five goals and nine assists for a team-high 14 points.