Los Angeles Hockey: Daniel Cleary

Kings: Not even a 3-1 deficit can sour this mood

February, 28, 2011
2/28/11
8:50
PM PT
After the 1st period:

Detroit Red Wings 3, Kings 1

The good: It’s actually a great day to be a Kings' fan. The organization went out Monday and traded for a top-shelf left wing in Dustin Penner and didn’t lose any players off the current roster. Of course, Penner isn’t here yet but he should play Thursday night against the visiting Coyotes. The other big news was the four-year contract extension signed by right wing Justin Williams, who is tied for the team lead with 20 goals. Check back later for a pre-game video interview with Kings general manager Dean Lombardi discussing these pivotal moves. The Kings gave their fans a reason to cheer early on when Michal Handzus scored just over four minutes into the game on assists by Jarret Stoll and Anze Kopitar.

The bad: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick allowed two early goals and both took the same route, right through his legs. The first goal had no business getting by him. Drew Miller slid a shot from a 90-degree angle and Quick took a swipe at the puck with his stick but missed. The puck continued through his legs, hit one of his skates and was redirected past the goal line. Thirty one seconds later, Jiri Hudler took a shot from just inside the blue line and Daniel Cleary deflected the rubber through Quick’s five-hole for a 2-1 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining. The Kings were then called for back-to-back high-sticking penalties that had Kings’ fans booing as loud as we’ve heard this season. The first was on defenseman Matt Greene after he laid a hard lick on Tomas Holmstrom. The only problem was, Greene’s stick never touched Holmstrom. The Kings killed that penalty but couldn’t kill the second, this one on Stoll. Nicklas Lidstrom sent a laser passed Quick with 2:16 left, giving the Red Wings their 3-1 lead.

The in between: Since Penner has not yet arrived and Detroit is not prone to fight, the Kings designated enforcer Kevin Westgarth as a healthy scratch and inserted Peter Harrold in the lineup for the first time since Jan. 6. Harrold, primarily a defenseman, is playing a fourth-line forward role but was limited to just three shifts in the first period.

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