KINGS SURVIVE THE OILERS’ BEST AND FINISH THEM 3-2
For parts of this game, the Kings resembled London during WWII between September 7, 1940 to May 10, 1941. Unlike the “blitz” however, the Kings had a secret weapon against the relentless bombing – a force field if you will that guarded the Kings’ territory like a father with a shotgun and a shovel defends his daughter’s virginity. Too much? I’m just getting started.
The Kings came into game without Ryan Smyth, Wayne Simmonds and recently Jarret Stoll. For most of this game, they also lost Jack Johnson with a very low body injury. Johnson took a bomb from Sheldon Souray to his leg, which generally translates to a bruise or break. For a while there, it looked like even Dustin Brown (who has started to come into his own lately) had injured his shoulder. The pre and post Olympic break can’t come fast enough.
The Kings took the lead on a nice give and go from Dustin Brown to Brad Richardson at 5:29 of the first. In the second, Richardson, in the holiday spirit, took a shot that rebounded right to Brown who put the puck past Jeff Deslauriers to give the Kings a 2-0 lead. Great, right?
Well, yes, but then came the bombers. A full scale attack in our offensive zone. Cycling, passing, shooting, the Oilers were everywhere. Sheldon Souray, off a face off win by Ryan Potulny, rocketed a shot past Quick on the short side. With layers of traffic in front of him, Jonathan likely never saw the shot. While the Kings were able to survive the period down 2-1, including a late penalty by Jack Johnson, the third picked up where the second left off. Potulny blasted a one timer past Quick on a nice feed from the commanding SS (for those of you a little slow tonight, work up a few lines for the reference).
Fortunately, it is always darkest before dawn.
It didn’t happen immediately.
In fact, it was so subtle you may have missed it.
One shift, just one. Dustin Brown held and cycled the puck and took a hard low shot on Jeff Deslauriers that was stopped solely due to the netminder’s position…I am still not sure he even saw it. Dustin followed up the end of his shift with a bone crunching hit in the defensive zone and the Kings regained possession of the puck. Suddenly, the momentum changed. The Kings were attacking again. Passes were connecting. Speed backed off the Oilers defense in the neutral zone. The Kings got back to a puck possession game while slowing the Oilers down from sustained attacks. With under 5 minutes left in the third, Alexander Frolov took over a shift and the game at the same time, cycled the puck between he and Williams, and fed a nice pass to Sean O’Donnell who fired a shot past Deslauriers to give the Kings a 3-2 lead. The Kings never looked back and while the last minute of the game was a bit spooky with a brief Oilers power play, the Kings did what they do best when heading into the third with the lead – win.
Post Game Tidbits
Jonathan Quick showed tonight why he is developing into a world class goaltender. Watching him the past 15-20 games has been sheer pleasure.
Brad Richardson and Dustin Brown looked good tonight. I dare say there was even chemistry there.
This game was exhibit A of how much we miss Ryan Smyth and Wayne Simmonds. The Oilers goaltender was leaving some big beautiful rebounds right in front of his net on at least six shots that I counted. Smyth would have converted at least two of them.
As a reader pointed out earlier, each of Jarret Stoll’s groin injuries have been right before the Kings play the Oilers. Weird.
How injured is your team when a defenseman like Whiskey has to play forward? Let’s get the guys back and healthy already.
Congratulations to Sean O’Donnell for getting the game winner. It was his first goal in 5 years. Seriously though, I think it was just under 160 games and it’s all about quality with with O’D, not quantity.
Good Guys win.