KINGS 4, BRUINS 3, JAMIE KOMPON 0 (OT)
I must say, after the Los Angeles Kings came out flat in the second period, gave up 2 goals quick goals to go down 3-1, and THEN squandered 4:10 of 5-on-4 and 2:40 of 5-on-3 power play time (if my math is correct) during the end of the second and start of the third, I had all but written this game off.
Having started the game well enough, the Kings jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Jarret Stoll’s 11th goal of the season, a garbage goal picked up at the left side of the crease off Scott Parse’s rebound. The crowd was slowly waking up along with the team. Several minutes earlier, Brandon Segal took a few more punches to the face than he connected with from Andy McQuaid (I don’t know who that is either). The momentum from Stoll’s goal was primed and ready to roll when Raitis Ivanans immediately thought it would be a good idea to fight Shawn Thornton. While the fight itself was amusing enough, with the clear edge to Ivanans, once again the Rat Boy Prince let the other team’s enforcer show him how to do his job properly. Often I am annoyed when Ivanans turns down a fight, or neglects to start one, but this one was truly poorly timed.
The momentum gained by Thornton for Boston, coupled with the immediate TV timeout that followed, sucked the luster out of the Kings as well as all the fans in Staple’s Center whose accents weren’t a garbled mess. They wouldn’t gain it back until halfway through the third period.
First, Miroslav Satan Satan Satan snuck a wrist shot through Quick with 1:40 left to play in the 1st. The play seemed harmless enough, and the goal was a tad soft on Quick’s part, though exacerbated by an overaggressive O’Donnell trying to cream Satan as he streaked down the right wing. Then, halfway into the second period, Michael Ryder potted his 10th and 11th goals of the season just 11 seconds apart. The first was the result of another lazy, bonehead play by O’Donnell, followed by a pathetic attempt to clear the zone by Ivanans. The second saw Drew Doughty picking up the bad habit of his mentor when he tried to level Blake Wheeler at the blue line, got beat and turned a harmless play into a 2-on-1 for his partner, Rob Scuderi.
Then the penalties came in waves. Mark Stuart, holding at 16:31. Trent Whitfield (again, who?), interference at 18:50. Derek Morris, hooking at 19:38, followed by Stuart again, this time for dangerously cross checking Ryan Smyth 1:00 into the third period. It seemed the hockey powers that be wanted the Kings to win this one. Too bad, Jamie Kompon has yet to figure out that his telegraphic power play scheme has no one fooled. The Kings continuously ran the same two plays, one by the first unit and a different one by the second unit, both of which saw absolutely zero success. Stoll and Doughty managed some hard one-timers from the points, but they took so long to set up, fans listening on the radio could tell where and when those shots would be taken. Thomas had no trouble sliding over to stop any chance the Kings actually got off.
All looked lost and the scuzzy Bruins’ fans in large attendance looked as if they would walk out with bragging rights.
But then a change occurred. Character took over and the Kings tried something different; playing below the hash marks. Alexander Frolov took over a shift and drew both defensemen with him behind the net, where he somehow managed to kick out a perfect pass to Dustin Brown, who free and clear in front of Thomas put the puck over the left pad. 3-2.
Wayne “Night Train” Simmonds then decided that wasn’t good enough. Just over 2 minutes later he fed a short and pretty pass from just behind the goal line to Kopitar who was *gasp* CRASHING THE NET! Kopitar put the puck underneath Thomas and the Bruins’ long-held lead was evaporated.
The final 7 minutes of the game were full of nerve-racking moments, as was the overtime, but the shootout proved too much for Thomas and the injured-riddled, offensively challenged Bruins too handle
Kopitar sent Thomas’ underwear flying as he beat the goalie five-hole.
Quick scared the puck off David Krejci’s stick before he could shoot.
Johnson just missed off a nice deke that had the goalie dead to rights.
The steam ran out of Satan’s wrist shot, along with his luck.
Captain Dustin Brown sealed the victory.
3 stars, in ascending order were Kopitar, Wheeler and Richardson.
Now if you’ll excuse, I’m going to go enjoy my Saturday, as should all of you!
GO KINGS GO!