KINGS & QUICK SHUT DOWN BLACKHAWKS 2-1 IN SHOOTOUT

Jack Johnson is money in the shootout.

Jonathan Quick is bank.

The Chicago Blackhawks came into tonight’s game as a well reputed offensive force. Prior to last night’s match, they had won 8 in a row and Chicago recently got back from injury All Star, Marion Hossa.  The Kings on the other hand were still without veteran forward and the glue of the first line, Ryan Smyth and defensive defensemen Rob Scuderi. Our boys were also having a hell of a time scoring goals.  Fortunately, hockey games aren’t won or lost based on reputation or statistics.

This game, but for a a few stretches in the third period, was all about the Kings taking the game to the Hawks.  A punishing defense.  Elimination of the center of ice to Chicago’s Kane, Toews, Hossa, et al.  Big hits.  A north to south executed offense.

The first period, controlled by the Kings, ended without a goal.  In the second, Wayne Simmonds put the Kings up 1-0 with a nice give and go between he and Michal Handzus. He drove to the net, took the pass back from Handzus and put it between Huet’s pads.   The Kings took the 1-0 lead into the third until the referee called a phantom holding the stick call (phantom because it never happened) on Michal Handzus. Jonathan Toews put in a rebound from Patrick Kane’s shot from the right circle.  Thereafter, each team had their chances in the third but neither could beat the opposing goaltender.  Quick looked especially sharp and focused.

The overtime was a nice display of each team playing to win.  Wide open hockey.  Great scoring chances. Wayne Simmonds nearly ended it with a shot that went off Huet’s glove and trickled just wide of the net. Kings’ fans swallowed their collective hearts when with over a minute left in regulation, Drew Doughty was called for hooking.  The Kings however executed the penalty kill to perfection. Faceoffs won.  The defensemen forced the Hawks’ forwards to the outside. Pucks were cleared on the first attempt.

To the shootout.

Hockey purists, myself included, aren’t big fans of this exhibition but if the Kings keep winning them, then this quirky game decider may have to grow on me.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one.

Jack Johnson is money.

Jonathan Quick is bank.

…Kopitar also made a deposit in Huet’s goal.  Keep the change.

In case you forgot…



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