For the first time in three years, the Kings lost to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. In an exceptional effort by Jonathan Quick, who had 36 saves, Devils star forwards Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk managed to put the puck past him in the shootout. As most of us know, that is not an easy thing to do as Quick was 10-0 in shootouts last season. The Kings had a great start to the game when Simon Gagné put one past former Team Canada teammate, Martin Brodeur….for the 19th time in his career. That’s a pretty impressive number. Gagné has scored more goals against Brodeur than any other player in the NHL. I think it’s safe to say that the Kings are officially pleased to have Gagné on board. Anze Kopitar has a point in every game played so far, as he and Justin Williams were credited with assists on that goal.
Patrik Elias tied the game for the Devils with seven minutes left to go in the first period and it remained 1-1 until the shootout. At the start of the second period, goaltender Johan Hedberg replaced Brodeur who suffered a minor injury to his right shoulder. There were a few great scoring chances in the first period for the Kings, but during the second and third, energy seemed to be a little low. Jonathan Quick single-handedly earned a point for the Kings by stopping several great shots and leading them to overtime.
The Kings unfortunately failed to score on the one power play opportunity, but had two strong penalty kills that kept them in the game. As far as Dustin Penner’s big return, I have yet to see a whole lot coming from him, although it is still very early.
On Saturday at 7pm EST (that’s 4pm for us West Coasters), Mike Richards will have his big return to Philadelphia as the Kings face the Flyers for the only time this season. No pressure, Mike. It will surely be a strange feeling for Flyers fans to watch their former captain skating with the opposing team. Not to mention how strange it will be to see Wayne Simmonds sporting that orange jersey. Let’s just hope Drew Doughty stays focused on the game instead of rekindling the bromance friendship with his former roommate. It should be a great game, so tune in.
Click here to watch highlights from Kings vs. Devils 10/13/11
Topics: Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Dustin Penner, Ilya Kovalchuk, Johan Hedberg, Jonathan Quick, Justin Williams, Los Angeles Kings, Martin Brodeur, Mike Richards, New Jersey Devils, Patrik Elias, Philadelphia Flyers, Simon Gagne, Wayne Simmonds, Zach Parise