When you look at the L.A. Kings record you might ask if these are the current Stanley Cup champions. It’s been a rough season so far. They win a game and then lose three in a row and then win again. It’s not what they want to see.
They know that when they forecheck well and keep the puck in the offensive zone, they win games. Staying out of the penalty box cuts down on having to make penalty kills. Doing that consistently has been the Kings biggest challenge.
Wednesday they faced the New Jersey Devils, another team struggling this season. The Kings are 12 points ahead of the Devils and have five more wins, but in the NHL having a statistical advantage is not a guarantee of a win. The Devils have won games against Toronto and Tampa Bay, so New Jersey can bring it to the Kings.
In their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday, the Kings won with great defense and excellent goal tending by Martin Jones. It looked like it might be a close game between the New Jersey Devils and the Kings. The first period ended with the Devils up by just one goal, a power play score by Steve Bernier with just 15 seconds left in the period. Then just over a minute into the second period Dustin Brown scored from 12 feet to tie the game.
At about the nine minute mark the Devils found themselves in a power play and Steve Bernier got his second goal of the night. Within a minute New Jersey had two more scores, goals by Martin Havlet and Michael Cammalleri.
At the 17-minute mark New Jersey got their fifth goal of the night when Michael Ryder score from 10 feet out.
The third period began with the Kings behind 5-1, and having changed goalies from Martin Jones to Jonathan Quick and then back to Jones, who got the start so Jonathan Quick, the Kings primary goalie, could get another day off.
The Kings were able to score two goals in the third period, Marian Gaborik from five feet and then with less than a minute left in the game Justin Williams got the Kings’ third and final goal of the night.
They can chalk up this loss to poor defense all the way around. After the game Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said not getting the penalty kills was draining the team and the only remedy was to keep working at it. The team looked very dejected after the game. No one likes to lose, but this loss was especially hard on the Kings.
Saturday the Anaheim Ducks will be at Staples to meet the Kings who will be retiring Rob Blake’s Number 4 jersey before the game. This will be another big challenge for the Kings, although the last time the two teams met, which was on the Staples Center ice,, the Kings drove home with a win.
Get there by 6:30 if you want to watch the ceremony to retire Blake’s number..
(All photos by Claudia Gestro)
Claudia is of Peruvian and Italian descent, having been born in a small town, in the North of Peru, South America. She was raised by her grandmother from an early age, living in poverty until Claudia’s mother brought her to America. She landed in Miami, FL and started her new life, playing high school basketball and eventually becoming a United States citizen. Claudia completed her education at Florida International University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and became a model to supplement her income. Since graduating from FIU Claudia has worked with many of the Spanish Language broadcasting companies, including Telemundo, Univision and most recently Spanish Language channels on SiriusXM satellite radio and PasTV Deportes in Venezuela.She encourages you to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Her content appears here under a shared content agreement with her Spanish television clients.