Monday, December 19, 2011
Kings: Dustin Brown beats Maple Leafs with shootout goal
By Dan Arritt
Kings 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 (SO)
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS:Dustin Brown scored the Kings’ first power-play goal in seven games during regulation and then came through in the shootout to lift the Kings to a much-needed victory at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, earning them a split on the four-game road trip.
THE STAT: In the final game before Darryl Sutter takes over as coach, the Kings were held to two goals or less for the 12th consecutive game. However, they took more than 40 shots on goal for the fourth time in the last six.
TURNING POINT: After three Maple Leafs failed to score in the shootout, and Kings forwards Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll also missed the net, Brown skated in and beat Toronto goalie James Reimer with a quick wrist shot past his glove and off the inside of the right post.
HOT: The Kings, who came in ranked sixth in the league on the penalty kill, snuffed out all six power plays by the Maple Leafs. The Kings have allowed just two-power play goals in the last seven games.
NOT: Simon Gagne went his 14thconsecutive game without scoring a goal for the Kings, matching his longest goal-less stretch since the 2003-04 season. Gagne, a two-time 40-goal scorer, did make a nice pass to Brown on his goal.
GOOD MOVE: Justin Williams scored a rare first-period goal for the Kings, who came in as the league’s lowest-scoring team and with the fewest first-period goals. Williams benefited from an odd bounce off a dump-in pass by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. The puck caromed in front of the net and he picked out the top right corner for just his second goal in the last 24 games.
BAD MOVE: With the scored tied, 1-1, late in the first period, Toronto defenseman Luke Schenn was whistled for boarding Brad Richardson. Kings defenseman Matt Greene took notice and went after Schenn, earning a roughing penalty that wiped out an impending power play against the league’s worst penalty killer.
NOTABLE: Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell returned to the lineup after missing seven of the last eight games with a groin injury … Every player for Kings had at least one shot on goal except Greene. Brown had a season-high six shots on net … The Kings improved to 68-0-4 in the last 72 games when leading after two periods … Doughty and Dustin Penner suffered lacerations in the opening period and Kyle Clifford had a bloody nose after fighting Jay Rosehill shortly after Williams scored. Doughty missed the last five minutes of the first period and the first eight of the second while getting stitched up.
UP NEXT: Thursday vs. the Ducks at Staples Center.