It was an exciting game, but unfortunately also a disappointing game for Kings fans. The Los Angeles Kings fell 3-1 to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks. Is it really fair to call them defending champions, since only about half of the Cup-winning team is back? I suppose it still is, and they are. The Kings actually played relatively well, at least through the last half of the second period and the third period, but just couldn’t get it done.
Chicago drew blood first, with a goal on a sharp angle that typically you would expect a goalie to handle. Unfortunately the nasty deflection off Drewiske’s stick made it a much more challenging shot, and Bernier had already committed to another angle. It was a tough beat, but the Kings responded with a goal from a similarly sharp angle by Justin Williams. After that it was all Blackhawks, with a Viktor Stalberg goal on a bad rebound early in the second, and a Patrick Sharp score on a break. They were tough goals, especially the Sharp goal, which went largely against the flow of play in the third period.
Bernier played average, but didn’t come up with the kind of stops that the Kings will need to consistently win. Of course when your offense only scores one goal, it’s hard to lay the blame on the goaltender. In the third period the Kings had consistent possession, and generally controlled the flow of play with a few exceptions but in the end it just wasn’t enough. There weren’t a lot of things to complain about, though the return of the pathetic power play would be one of them. When the Kings managed to secure a power play in the third period, it was basically the first time in 5-10 minutes that the BLACKHAWKS got any momentum. It’s was ludicrous how poorly they played during that power play, but other than that the game seemed generally well executed.
The Kings line up against Dallas this evening, looking to end their road trip with a win and make it a 3-2 trip. Think they’ll win?
Three Stars of the Game:
1st: Marty Turco
2nd: Viktor Stalberg
3rd: Jake Dowell