Game 36: Kings 3, Oilers 2
Coming off a rough loss against Vancouver , the Kings matched up against the surging Oilers, who just came back from a 5-1-0 roadie. Everyone is now aware of L.A.'s talent now, and everyone's gunning for them. The question remains, which King will come forward and assume the mantle of greatness this game?
Brad Richardson draws first blood in a spirited first period that the Kings look way sharper than they did in last night's game. The assist goes to the Cap'n, Dustin Brown. Later in the second, Brown scores to loft the Kings to a 2 goal lead, as Richardson paid him back with a beauty of an assist. Brown has really stepped it up recently, something he's been needing to do as leader of this young squad.
But the Oilers came storming back to eventually tie the game in the third period. The vocal crowd at Rexall Place was spurring their team on, providing the Oil with enough gas to continue their assault on Jonny (Don't Call Me Jonathon) Quick. Thing is, no one bothered to tell Quick that crowd noise was supposed to intimidate him.
Because it didn't, not one bit. Quick turned away chance after chance after chance, showing the type of poise that has been unheard of by Kings netminders in recent history. He put his 25-of-28 save night behind him, and tightened the screws to only allow one goal in 29 shots Wednesday. He credited, who else, his team. From Rich Hammond :
"I felt good out there. I got a lot of help," Quick said. "I had a couple posts, and I had Greener clear one out from behind me that slipped through, so I got some luck. We did a great job of blocking shots and clearing out rebounds. It was a real good win.”
The injuries continue to mount, as the mighty Jack Johnson, he of the awesome retro purple shirt, went out with an ankle injury in the second period. But as they have done seemingly every game, the Kings absorbed the hit and kept on truckin'. Jack tried to come back in the second, but couldn't go. A "fluoroscopic x-ray" revealed nothing , so they'll look at it again in Calgary.
The National Nightmare is over: Sean O'Donnell finally potted a goal for the Kings. It was looking like he was going to go 0-for-the-gopher for his career as a King. Everyone talked about Anze Kopitar's 13-game goal scoring slump. Try 157 games. That 719 days without lighting the lamp. He had only shot the puck 54 times in between goals.
Now granted, that's not his game. And at least he had a sense of humor about it:
"It's the law of averages. If you get enough shots on net..." O’Donnell said.
The first star of the game (as well as Stars-Jonathan-be-nimble-Jonat?urn=nhl,209096" target="_blank">Yahoo's First Star of Tuesday and the NHL's First Star of the Week , as it turns out) was Quick, whose steadying influence between the pipes has transformed this team from perennial pretenders to actual contenders. Tonight was a real treat to watch him dive around, blocking shots and scooping up rebounds. He played with a ton of intensity and the team is feeding off of that. Whatever his pre-game ritual is, keep doing it.
For a capsulated look at more Kings news, blogs and video, including Ivanans' fight...