By Bobby Scribe.
So who knew that when the puck would be dropped at center ice at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, a full contact ping pong game would break out. Imagine the surprise of all those fans who showed up to watch hockey. Then, imagine their shock when with 9.5 seconds left, the Kings, thanks to a nice goal by Captain Dustin Brown with an assist from rookie Andrei Loktionov, showed up.
Until that second, this contest was defined by a goal given up by Jonathan Quick against Benn Ferriero that he most certainly wanted back. That was it. Neither team could score on the powerplay. The Kings struggled to set it up. They could not generate many shots on net and there was no traffic in front of Sharks’ goaltender, Thomas Greiss. No power. Little play. The Sharks didn’t fare any better as they also had a couple of two man advantages and could not score. Sometimes, a picture says it all.
Then, just when it seemed this game would go into the annals of preseason hockey history as the pinnacle of dull, Dustin Brown not only scored but did so on the power play and sent the game into overtime.
The extra session started out with the Kings on their heels. Two penalties against, a trip by Davis Drewiske and a hook by Kyle Clifford caused the Kings to spend half the overtime a man short. Fortunately, the Kings’ penalty kill continued to shine. They seemed particularly adept at blocking off the shooting lanes and did not allow much traffic in front of Quick though at the final second of overtime, Jonathan Quick made a tremendous save, more than redeeming himself for the one he gave up earlier, and sent the game into a shootout.
The Kings started the shootout with Andrei Loktionov who came in a bit lazy and suffered the dreaded poke check by Greiss. The Sharks’ Ryan Vecse made some slick moves but couldn’t get the puck up and past Quick who made a nice save. Purcell tried to the old five hole but Greiss took it away just as fast as he showed it. The Sharks’ Devin Setoguchi, coming off an excellent season, took the shot from between the circles but Quick turned the puck away. Then came Kings first round draft pick and brother to the Maple Leafs’ Luke Schenn, recently turned 18 year old Brayden Schenn. Brayden came in strong and moved the puck to his forehand but Greiss denied him by quickly taking away the short side. Benn Ferriero was next for San Jose but was little match for Quick. Trevor Lewis skated on the ice. He took the puck down the ice with speed, made a great deke but Greiss extended his left leg at the last moment and stopped the shot, leaving many Kings fans in mid leap and disbelief that he did not score. The Sharks then sent defenseman Jason Demers who beat Quick on a backhand for a rather anti-climatic finish.
The Kings ended the game with 25 shots and the lone goal from Dustin Brown. They went 1 for 8 on the powerplay. Failing to take advantage of many powerplay chances in the first period set the tone for the game. The Sharks had 27 shots on goal, including 8 in overtime and scored twice even though they suffered an abysmal 0 for 9 with the man advantage.
Next up, cross town and freeway rivals, the Anaheim Ducks. Our very own Surly Jacob will be in attendance. Look forward to a fierce contest and a post game report to match.