Kings Get the Gift of Offense
It’s appropriate that the Kings have worn all black as their home jerseys this season. Their offense has really fallen into a black hole this season with them dead last in goals scored in the NHL.
Their offense was so bad, Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period magazine passed along this note on Twitter before the game: the Kings would have broken the modern era record (since the 1943-44 season) of consecutive games with two or fewer goals that trend in this game against the Phoenix Coyotes. They were sitting at 14 consecutive games.
We’ve seen the Kings being energetic in first periods of games in the past, but never have we seen the Kings have the offensive output they did in this first period against the Phoenix Coyotes. Two shots from the right point got past Coyotes’ goaltender Jason LaBarbera, the first by Rob Scuderi and second by Slava Voynov which went off the stick of Brad Richardson, marking the first time all season the Kings scored two goals in the first period.
Of course, the Kings wouldn’t be the Kings without throwing some doubt into it. The Coyotes exploded out of the gates in the second period with the Kings unable to match their intensity. It culminated with Raffi Torres cheating towards the Kings’ zone getting the pass for his second breakaway goal of the game to tie things up.
“Second period wasn’t very good,” Scuderi said. “We picked up towards the end, but at that point we gave a lot of momentum back to Phoenix.”
The improbable moment came early in the third quarter. Dustin Penner from behind the net with the puck heading back to the blue line. Penner dishes off to Willie Mitchell who shoots from the top of the right circle. Bang. 1:43 into the third period, the Kings avoided being on the butt-end of history.
“We kept saying, ‘Keep shooting the puck, it will eventually get in,’” Dustin Brown said. “Tonight they started to go in.”
In they did with Brown getting a weird angle shot go through LaBarbera for four goals. Drew Brees might have broken Dan Marino’s record, but the Kings had scored four goals. Four goals! The last time they did that was on Nov. 17 in Anaheim. This was before the NBA lockout was settled. The Chicago Bears still had playoff hopes, and people were still talking about people were talking about Honey Badger as if it wasn’t the world’s most idiotic nickname ever.
I could be talking about how disappointing it was for the Kings to give up a goal seconds later to keep the Coyotes in the game, but the Kings scored four goals.
It was interesting that all of the goals came from the right side, but that doesn’t matter. The Kings scored four goals.
“At the end of the day, that team was two points ahead of us, and it was a huge two points for us to get at home,” Brown said of the 4-3 win.
Head coach Darryl Sutter suffering with a sore throat neatly summarized things thusly: “It’s nice to see a ‘W’ up there.”
The Kings are inching their way back up the standings, just a point out of the eight-spot in the Western Conference standings. Time will only tell if this is merely a blip in the screen or a step back into respectability.
But for one day we can say this. THE KINGS SCORED FOUR GOALS.
In other hockey milestone news, the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in San Jose snapping their 13-game road winless streak.
Too bad the same can't be said of the Lakers who fell to the Sacramento Kings 100-91. Kobe Bryant had 29 points, Pau Gasol had 15 with nine boards while Metta World Peace added 19 points off the bench.
Utah Jazz at LA Lakers. 7:30 p.m. TNT, AM 710 KSPN.
Vanguard Lions at LMU Lions. 6:00 p.m. 88.9 FM KXLU.