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Saturday, December 3, 2011
Kings: Tomas Plekanec scores, Habs lead, 1-0

By Dan Arritt

After the 1st period:

Montreal Canadiens 1, Kings 0

The good: The Kings kept Montreal goalie Carey Price busier than he probably envisioned in the opening period, sending 14 shots his way, including nine in the first seven minutes. Dustin Brown, Simon Gagne and Drew Doughty led the way with two each in the matinee at Staples Center. The Kings were also stingy on their defensive end, allowing just five shots on net by the visitors.

The bad: Despite the discrepancy in shot totals, the Kings headed to the locker room down a goal. They failed to score on three power-play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 that last 39 seconds. When the Habs finally got a chance with the man-advantage, they converted on a goal by Tomas Plekanec, the team’s leading point scorer with 22. Doughty earned the second penalty for the Kings after he was slammed into the boards by Lars Eller and he stayed down for a few moments before resuming play. The Kings are already down a couple players after injures last game to defenseman Willie Mitchell and center Mike Richards.

The in between: The best scoring chance for the Kings belonged to defenseman Jack Johnson and he wasn’t even trying to shoot on goal. He dumped the puck in the offensive zone, trying to run it along the side wall, but instead it took an odd bounce as Price was leaving the crease to trap the puck behind the net. The puck slid diagonally toward the goal line and would have crossed just inside the near post had Price not dove with an outstretched stick and tipped it away.