Stanley Cup Playoffs: Los Angeles Kings Must Rebound Offensively Back Home
It appears that this year's road to the Stanley Cup isn't going to be as easy as last season for the Los Angeles Kings.
After suffering heartbreaking back-to-back losses against the St. Louis Blues, the Kings will head back to the drawing board at Staples Center to correct their offensive woes.
Now the Kings aren't necessarily the most offensive team to begin with.
In the regular season, they averaged 2.73 goals per game and successfully converted 19.9 percent of their power plays, both good for 10th in the league. They also had 29.8 shots were taken per game, ranking about 12th in the league.
It's been the defense that's helped out a tough year for Jonathan Quick, who went 18-13-4 as starting goalie. The Kings allowed just 25 shots against per game.
Unfortunately, the Blues are ranked a notch ahead of them giving up 24.2 SA per game.
Despite the Kings sweeping them in the playoffs last season, LA can't rely on their defense and Quick to pull them out of an 0-2 series deficit. Especially when they're allowing 33.5 SA per game.
Los Angeles was aggressive this time around to start Game 2, and both sides had an equal amount chippiness after almost every shot throughout the first couple periods.
But that's not enough for head coach Darryl Sutter, who noted the offensive problems:
“Well, we haven’t scored a five-on-five goal in almost seven periods," Sutter said. "So it doesn’t matter how you translate it. You’re not going to win any games if we don’t score a goal five-on-five.” (per Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider)
Both goals scored by the Blues in Game 2's final period were during five-on-five play.
The Kings needs to find more shot output other than Justin Williams and Jeff Carter because no one besides those two players had more than five shots. Williams has a team-high 13 shots on goal in the first two games of the series.
Drew Doughty, who had 114 SOG in the regular season, played 29:45 minutes in Game 2 and recorded just one shot. He has just three SOG in the first two games.
If the Los Angeles Kings aren't able to find more offense on Saturday night, they may find out what it's like to be on the receiving end of getting dominated in a playoff series.
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