Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Kings: Alec Martinez scores for 2-1 lead after two periods
By Dan Arritt
After the 2nd period:
Kings 2, San Jose Sharks 1
The good: The Kings wore down the Sharks as the second period wore on and were finally rewarded when second-year defenseman Alec Martinez scored his fourth goal of the season with 4:11 remaining in the period. Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar helped win the puck down low and Kopitar took possession behind the net. Martinez had space to work and he tapped his stick on the ice three times to get Kopitar’s attention. Kopitar slid a perfect pass in his direction and Martinez did the rest, putting the puck in the top right corner for a 2-1 lead and his second goal in three games. The Kings out-shot San Jose, 16-5, in the period and have a 28-13 advantage heading into the final period. They’ve been just as dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 26 of 35 draws, led by 7-2 efforts for Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll. The Sharks looked fatigued after losing Monday night at home against the Ducks. The best player on the ice tonight might be Trevor Lewis, who is playing with a lot of confidence and determination following his two-assist effort against the Predators on Saturday night, and is a big reason why the Kings have been able to keep the puck in their offensive zone for long stretches. Twenty more minutes for a season-long five-game winning streak.
The bad: Kings rookie defenseman Slava Voynov is usually rather invisible on the ice because he makes so few mistakes. He has twice failed to trap the puck at the blue line with open ice between him and the net, however. Kings right wing Dustin Brown is also having a quiet night, one game after his 10-game point streak ended. He has failed to take a shot so far.
The in between: With the Avalanche winning in overtime, the best the winner of this game can do is move into eighth place and drop Phoenix into ninth.