Thursday, November 17, 2011
Kings: Offense has right mentality in win vs. Ducks
By Dan Arritt
LOS ANGELES—It’s a simply philosophy, really.
Kings coach Terry Murray has a phrase he likes to use when describing his team’s offensive objective during games. He calls it “shot mentality.” Throw the puck at the net at every opportunity and see what positives comes from there.
The Kings worked that strategy well early on Wednesday night against the visiting Ducks, didn’t get the results they wanted but still finished with just enough "shot mentality" to win, 2-1, in a shootout at Staples Center.
Justin Williams scored the deciding goal in the shootout, and goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots in regulation and six of seven in the shootout to lift the Kings to their first two-game winning streak in nearly four weeks.
The Kings greeted Anaheim with a barrage of shots from the opening faceoff. They struggled to find openings in Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, but didn’t let the frustration boil over.
“That means you’re doing a lot of good things to get frustrated about,” Murray said. “That means you’re putting pucks to the net.”
The Kings recorded 17 of their 37 shots on net during the opening period, the most shots on goal for any period this season. They had 11 in the first 7 ½ minutes.
The opening period was scoreless but the Kings took advantage of a 5-on-3 early in the second.
Mike Richards, who took all seven of his shots on goal through the first two periods, the most by any player on the Kings this season, scored his fifth goal of the season on the 5-on-3.
"Our power play has been good all year," Richards said. "We got to get the puck on net as much as possible and we did that. We got a fortunate bounce off the end boards and capitalized on it.”
The play was set in motion when Jack Johnson shot wide from the high slot and Richards collected the carom off the end boards, then shot it past Hiller from a tough angle at the 7:38 mark. The Kings have scored at least one power play goal in five consecutive games and 12 out 18 overall this season.
“The five-on-five play was good,” Murray said. “The mentality of getting pucks to the net and having traffic was very good. I liked our power play tonight, we moved it around, we got pucks to the net.”
The Ducks, who came into the game last in the league in scoring, had a goal waved off with 14:35 left in regulation Teemu Selanne took a shot from the right faceoff circle and hit Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in the chest. Ryan Getzlaf was charging the crease and he caught the airborne puck in his left glove and shoveled past the line as he crashed into Quick. After a brief review, the goal was disallowed.
The Ducks finally got even when Selanne scored a power-play goal with 3:25 remaining in regulation.
"We let them hang around," Williams said. "Couldn’t get that second goal past the goalie and, unfortunately, they scored to tie it up. It’s tough giving up a point to a division opponent but we got two.”
Quick came up just short of recording his league-leading fourth shutout of the season.
The Ducks have lost eight of nine and 11 of their last 13.