Monday, January 2, 2012
Kings: Dustin Brown scores for 1-0 lead after two
By Dan Arritt
After the 2nd period:
Kings 1, Colorado Avalanche 0
The good: After controlling most of the first period, the Kings struck first early in the second. Mike Richards slid the puck along the wall and behind the Colorado net to Anze Kopitar. He brought the puck out and tried to stuff it into the side of the goal but Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov kept it out. The puck rolled in front of the net where a charging Dustin Brown back-handed it through Varlomov’s pads 1:34 into the period. Five of Brown’s previous nine goals this season have held up as game winners, tying him for third in the league with six others. If this one holds up too, Brown would move into a tie for eight place in franchise history with legends Charlie Simmer and Ziggy Palffy. He’s certainly a unique player, as he also entered the game with the third-most hits in the NHL and he already has a team-high five against the Avs.
The bad: The Kings came into the game ranked 25th out of 30 teams in the NHL in power play efficiency and they aren’t getting any better. They’re now 0-for-4 against Colorado after failing to score on another man advantage late in the period, set in place when Colorado forward T.J. Galiardi checked Andrei Loktionov over the boards and into his own bench for a roughing penalty. They had three great looks on well-placed passes during the ensuing two minutes but just couldn’t get the puck past Varlamov, who came in with a lofty 3.05 goals-against average. The Kings are also getting eaten up in the faceoff circle, losing 17 of 29 drops. Colorado center Paul Stastny has won all eight of his draws.
The in between: Kings rookie defenseman Slava Voynov is sitting this one out after taking a couple nice shots Saturday against Vancouver. Second-year blue-line Alec Martinez is starting in his place and he’s doing a good job so far, registering three hits and playing solid overall defense against one of the hottest teams in the NHL.