Ottawa Senators At Los Angeles Kings This is my second blog attempt. Today the Kings face a senators team who is within striking range of the playoffs but it they must be getting desperate. Andrej Sekera will not play today as he has just arrived from Carolina. Period 1: Ottawa is taking the physical play to the kings in the first few minutes, the Kings had trouble breaking out of their own zone to start the game but have managed some sustained attack time since then. The Kings Brayden McNabb is called for tripping. It was a tough call but I don’t see how the ref could make the distinction between Chiasson losing an edge and McNabb tripping him. The Kings look to have their penalty kill working again. The Senators are giving the Kings space in front of their own net, allowing lots of second chances. Tyler Clifford draws a tripping penalty. I’m guessing the Kings score their next goal on a rebound right in front of the net. Annnnnd I was wrong The period ends the Kings outshoot Ottawa 11-6. The Kings killed off a power play effectively and generated chances on their own. Period 2: The Kings have drawn a slashing penalty to start the period, with a sheet of fresh ice, this is a good chance for the Kings. Some nice passing by the Kings and a great save by Andrew Hammond. The Kings put the puck in the net on a rebound but the goal has been waved off. The ref claims to have lost sight of the puck. The Kings are buzzing on this power play, Hammond makes another great save. Carter makes a sloppy pass intercepted by Eric Condra, which results in a Kings penalty. The Kings allowed a pretty egregious rebound during this four on four situation. The Kings have stifled the Ottawa power play once again, although they gave up some opportunities on the 4 on 4. They also could’ve been called for a penalty at the end of their penalty kill. Though the Kings penalty kill has been good, they’ve committed a lot of penalties the past two games. McBain with a nut shot on Eric Condra.
Quick makes two nice saves and gets bowled over. Bobby Ryan crashed the net hard and pushed Robyn Regher into his own goalie. Ryan is probably still feeling the freeway rivalry effects. Quick faces three quick point blank shots and doesn’t flinch. Carter had a look but didn’t shoot, he definitely should have been looking for a rebound, then he gets a second chance and Dwight King can’t quite convert on the rebound. The Senators are crashing the net hard still and causing a ruckus. Doughty can fly, very nice rush up the ice with a smart low shot to finish it off resulting in a rebound. Neither Teams are able to score after 2 periods, Quick is looking very solid. Period 3: This whole game has been played very wide open with Andrew Hammond playing very well in goal, as well as Quick. Kopitar looks to handle the puck a lot instead of shoot and could pass earlier. The Kings haven’t had a lot of opportunities so far. Ottawa scores on a 2 on 1. The Kings try to force the issue and hold center ice, unfortunately, they got burned. Kopitar was very lackadaisical on the back check. For a player who is a threat for the Selke on a yearly basis, he’s having a poor defensive game. He also looks like he is doing too much on offense. There have been a couple occasions during this game where he could’ve dumped or passed the puck instead of trying to dangle through 3 defenders. The Kings are unable to score with an extra attacker and the game ends Ottawa 1, Kings 0. Summary: While this game had some aspects of a Kings hockey, overall, they failed to play a complete game. Jonathan Quick was stellar again making some key saves, however, the Kings allowed the game to become too wide open without the physical intimidation they have been successful with. The Kings managed 35 shots with multiple scoring chances, Andrew Hammond played positionally sound in goal and made some spectacular saves. The Kings were robbed of a first period goal by a ref’s hasty whistle, but when your goalie holds the opposition to a single goal, you should be able to score a couple. With the Kings placed in the bottom third of the league in goals for, clearly their success has come with strong defense and goal tending, even with scorers like Marion Gaborik and Jeff Carter. What stood out to me was the lack of a complete defensive game and the attempts by the Kings to score off the rush on offense. The Kings also did not play their strong physical forecheck and did not try to impose their will in front of the net. Many of their chances came off the rush. I thought Kopitar in particular had a poor game on both ends of the ice. On offense he possessed the puck too long, didn’t look to pass and tried to do it all himself. The dump and chase game the Kings had was poor compared to their previous game with Detroit. There is no time to mourn the end of their 8 game win streak as they face the division leader Anaheim tonight in the freeway face-off.