Monday, April 2, 2012
Kings: Scoreless first period vs. Oilers
By Dan Arritt
After the 1st period:
Kings 0, Edmonton Oilers 0
The good: The Kings did just about everything but score in the opening 20 minutes, out-shooting the visitors, 14-8, plus two shots that hit the post and two other good scoring chances that didn’t result in a shot on goal. Dwight King and Alec Martinez each were in good position to redirect the puck into the far side of the net on cross passes but couldn’t get their blade on the rubber. Dustin Brown nailed the right post off a centering pass from Anze Kopitar, and Jordan Nolan got a piece of the iron on a slight deflection off a point shot. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was solid as always, keeping rebounds to a minimum. Alec Martinez made a great defensive play in his end, diving to poke away a centering pass headed to an open Edmonton player. That ignited a rush the other way and also seemed to light a fire under L.A.’s offense, which did not have a shot on goal through the first four minutes, but then had seven in a span of 68 seconds after Martinez’s play.
The bad: The Kings can’t afford to let the Oilers hang around. This game means everything to L.A., since a win gives the Kings a three-point lead in the Pacific Division standings with two games left, and nothing to the Oilers, except for those individuals trying to impress management and stick around next season. Unfortunately, one of those is Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk, who has looked on top of his game tonight. Also, no Jeff Carter for the Kings tonight. The tests on his ankle came back today and there was no fracture, but he remains day-to-day with a deep bone bruise.
The in between: Nolan dropped the gloves with Edmonton enforcer Ben Eager, which was a bit of a mismatch, size-wise, but Nolan ended up holding his own in what looked more like a mixed-martial arts bout than a hockey fight.