Saturday, January 21, 2012
Kings: Penalty-kill unit keeps it scoreless after 1st period
By Dan Arritt
After the first period:
Kings 0, Colorado Avalanche 0
The good: The Kings lifted Dustin Penner off a big hook after he got careless with his stick and committed a double-minor high-sticking penalty during the second half of the period. The penalty-kill unit wiped out the first 3:11 of the penalty and Colorado defenseman Kyle Quincy did the rest, getting whistled for interference on Kings forward Dustin Brown as he tried to beat Quincy to the puck in the offensive zone. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, making his sixth consecutive start on his 26th birthday, stopped 10 shots during the period, but didn’t see any during the power play.
The bad: The Kings managed just four shots on net in the period, including just one over the final 15:11. Kings forward Mike Richards drew an interference penalty 1:18 into the game and the Kings immediately had a prime scoring chance, but Justin Williams was turned away by Colorado goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. It turned out to be the only shot on goal during the penalty. Kings coach Darryl Sutter has been spreading out the specials teams’ minutes, but it was still a surprise to see Willie Mitchell, Brad Richardson and Trevor Lewis on the second power-play unit. The three have combined for six goals this season. The Kings are the lowest-scoring team in the league and need to go with their firepower on the power plays. Kings rookie defenseman Slava Voynov had a big turnover in his defensive end, telegraphing a cross-ice clearing pass that Cody McLeod intercepted with nothing but ice in front of him. Fortunately, Quick stepped up with a big save.
The in between: The San Jose Sharks lost in regulation to Vancouver earlier in the day, so a victory by the Kings in regulation would move them back atop the Pacific Division standings.