LAst Night's Action: Lakers Dowse Suns Offense
LA Lakers defeat Phoenix Suns 114-106
Golden State Warriors defeat LA Clippers 109-91.
New Jersey Devils defeat Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Jason Blake scored a power-play goal for the Ducks 8:07 in the second period to give the team the 1-0 lead, but Jamie Langenbrunner tied the game at 10:39 in the period with his first goal of the season. Patrik Elias put the Devils ahead early in the third period. Jonas Hiller made 25 saves while Martin Brodeur saved 27 shots for the rare Devils’ win.
The Mirage That Is the Kings. In their first 10 games of the season the Kings hold the best record in the NHL. While that is great, how they’ve happened on this record is still a mystery.
The facts: The Kings have played only three home games. Their Norris-trophy finalist defenseman Drew Doughty has been out for a week since suffering a concussion. The Kings still need a scoring winger in their top line and a steady center in their second line. Head Coach Terry Murray has been tinkering in an almost game-by-game basis with the line combinations. Their offense has looked stale at times.
The stats: ninth in the league in five-on-five scoring; 16th in the league in power-play scoring; 23rd in the league shots per game; 12th in the league in shots-against per game; 19th in the league in penalties; 11th in the league in face-off percentage. Perhaps the only stat that really stands out for the team is being fourth in the league in the penalty-kill and the best in penalty killing at home having no ceded one power-play goal at STAPLES Center.
But somehow, someway they manage to get the puck in the net.
The second period of Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars was probably the best embodiment of this. The Kings didn’t get their first shot of the period until 8:14 in the period and by that time the Stars had seven to their tally. But in a span of nine seconds the Kings scored twice to take the 3-1 lead (start at the 40-second mark in the video below.)
This team is very resilient. Losing the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes? Fine, we’ll get Willie Mitchell and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Doughty out? Jack Johnson will pick up the slack in his absence. A dearth of scoring forwards on the lines? Wayne Simmonds and the third line will increase their play.
Kings Honor Mattias Norstrom. Prior to Saturday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils, the Kings will honor former All-Star defenseman and captain Mattias Norstrom. Norstrom played in 780 games with the Kings missing only 33 games during his tenure from 1995 to 2007. Named captain from 2001-07, he was part of four Stanley Cup Playoff runs for the Kings including the remarkable Frenzy on Figueroa. That stunner in Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs in 2001 saw the Kings trailing the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 going into the third period. They came back to tie the game and in overtime a goal by Eric Belanger gave the Kings the win tying the series at two games apiece. The Kings would go on to win the series in six over the heavily favored Red Wings however lose to the Colorado Avalanche in the second round in seven games.
The ceremony will begin at 7:38 p.m. with a video presentation and will feature former players Luc Robitaille, Rob Blake, Ian Laperriere, Craig Johnson, Glen Murray, Derek Armstrong, Jamie Storr, Mathieu Schneider and Nelson Emerson.
Meanwhile watch a bit of the Frenzy on Figueroa.
Oregon Ducks (7-0, 4-0 Pac-10) at USC Trojans (5-2, 2-2 Pac-10). 5:00 pm ABC, AM 710 KSPN.
Arizona Wildcats (6-1, 3-1 Pac-10) at UCLA Bruins (3-4, 1-3 Pac-10). 12:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 570 KLAC.
New Jersey Devils (7 pts., 3-7-1) at LA Kings (14 pts., 7-3-0). 7:30 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.
Anaheim Ducks (9 pts., 4-6-1) at San Jose Sharks (9 pts., 4-3-1). 7:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.