LAst Night's Action: Kings Explode for Four in First Period, Take 2-0 Series Lead
LA Kings defeat St. Louis Blues 5-2. For a series that everyone predicted would be a low scoring hard hitting affair, only half of the assumptions have rung true. But despite the Kings exploding all over the Blues in the first period, there were more sighs of relief than pure joy.
"We're going to have to be better," Jeff Carter told Fox Sport's Jon Rosen after the game about what the Kings need to do to win Game 3. Most statements like this from players on the winning end of blowout games come off as disingenous. However on this occasion, the concern is well justified.
Had it not been for goalie Jonathan Quick's 22 saves and the Kings' trademark defense in the final two periods, the Kings would have gone the way of the last night's Memphis Grizzlies erasing all of the good will generated by their first period.
Right from the drop of the puck, Dustin Penner set the tone with the puck on his stick charging the net. His shot squirted out to Mike Richards' stick, and his shot got past Blues' goalie Brian Elliott a mere 31 seconds into the game.
The Kings' top two lines sliced through everything the Blues tried to throw at them in the first 20 minutes. Anze Kopitar with a short-handed goal with Dustin Brown assisting at 14:16. Another Penner assist thanks to his speed allowing Jeff Carter to get his first goal in this season's playoffs four minutes later. Then a minute later Kopitar getting a second goal as the period was coming to an end. It was the first time the Kings scored four goals in a period since May 7, 1993 against Vancouver in the third period.
With a 4-0 lead, the Kings let off the gas pedal. Andy McDonald got the Blues on the board just 18 seconds into the second stanza. Although Justin Williams got the equalizer a minute later, the offense stopped. After getting 16 shots on goal in the first period, the Kings shot only five more for the remainder of the game.
Of course with such a lopsided score, the Blues got the game chippy. The Kings wound up taking 53 minutes of penalties including having to go two-men down twice. But the Blues couldn't capitalize. Their best chance went the way of mice and men (don't make me quote that poem again):
Another point of concern in the power-play which went 0-for-6 in the game and are scoreless in their last 25 power-play opportunities going back to Game 2 of the Vancouver series. The Blues are 1-16 in franchise history when faced with a 2-0 deficit, so maybe it won't come back to bite the Kings. Another notable stat: the Kings have more short-handed goals (4) than power-play goals (3) in the playoffs.
But knowing I tend to give a critical eye to things, it can't be left unsaid. The Kings have a 2-0 series lead and are heading home for two games. Also of all the playoff records the Kings are breaking or matching this season, note the year the former records were established.
Colorado Rockies defeat LA Dodgers 6-2. I guess Matt Kemp can't completely carry a team. Despite hitting a homer, the Dodgers fall short in Denver.
LA Angels defeat Minnesota Twins 4-3. You read that right. The Angels got a win. Mike Trout got a hit, and Albert Pujols went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a strikeout.
Denver Nuggets at LA Lakers. 7:30 p.m. TNT, FSWest, AM 710 KSPN.
LA Dodgers at Colorado Rockies. 5:40 p.m. KCAL9, AM 570 KLAC.
Minnesota Twins at LA Angels. 7:05 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.