If you read anything I write over on Get Higher, you’ll see in today’s post that I officially claim the award for worst blogger this week. Unfortunately, life takes over sometimes. So here, I’ll talk about briefly the Kings last three games (all wins) and then move on to discuss their chances in the second round.
Game 4- This was the highest scoring game between these two games, and perhaps one of the more exciting games in this first round. St. Louis earned an early two goal lead (less than five minutes into the contest), but the Kings responded with two goals of their own in the first period. T.J. Oshie was the only player who scored in the second period, and it appeared that the Blues were in control, and poised to take their third win of the series. Then, in the span of 90 seconds, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams scored during the third period to earn the Kings the win.
Game 5- It’s always startling when a team scores in the first minute of the game. It’s even more astonishing in the playoffs, but Jeff Carter slid the puck past Brian Elliott before this game was even 20 seconds old. The Blues would respond a few minutes later, and the score would remain tied for the rest of the period. In the second Jeff Carter scored again, and the Kings held onto this lead for most of the period. However, Alex Pietrangelo would score with less than a minute left in the period, evening up the score once more. No one scored during the third, which led to overtime, where Slava Voynov scored his second of the playoffs with a nice wrist shot. The Kings became the first team in this series to win on the road.
Game 6- This game was highlighted by Dustin Penner’s buzzer beater goal. Drew Doughty scored in the first to give the Kings the lead. In the second, the Blues tied things up with a goal from Chris Porter. However, in the final second of the period, Penner slipped the puck past Brian Elliott. This would end up the gamewinner, and Penner’s second series-ending goal for the LA Kings. Kings win the series 4-2.
The Upcoming Round- There is only one series undecided in the Western Conference thus far- Anaheim v Detroit. That series will determine who the Kings face, but either way, the team is headed for a California matchup. If Detroit wins, they will face the Blackhawks, and the Kings will face the Sharks. If the Ducks win, the Blackhawks will play the Sharks, and the Kings will play the Ducks. The Kings went 2-1-1 against both the Sharks and the Ducks this year, so it’s hard to pick out which team the Kings would rather play against based on those statistics. I would have to say though that there could be an advantage for the Kings playing either team. The Sharks were the first team to advance. That rest may benefit them, but it could also make them slow starters. The Ducks might find themselves hot and filled with adrenaline after a seven game series. Still, they might be more exhausted, and the Kings, with only a couple of days off, could find themselves rested the perfect amount. I’m going to go with my gut feeling that the Kings might find it easier to beat the Ducks in the second round, but either way, they’re in position for a good series.