The stage was set for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night as they went into their official home opener at Staples Center against the St. Louis Blues. Kings players walked “The Black Carpet”, greeting fans on the way into the arena. The buildup couldn’t have been bigger. The fans were buzzing. The house was rocking. All of the proverbial cliche’s were on the table. Simon Gagne apparently couldn’t wait to get things started for the raucous crowd, scoring at 7:20 of the first period on a wristshot from 11 feet out. This goal proved to be plenty and more for Jonathan Quick on a night where nothing could get past him (except a puck batted out of the air with a high stick late in the game. But that goal was immediately waved off and the Kings continued to have their way with the Blues).
In front of a sellout crowd, Anze Kopitar continued to be, well, Anze Kopitar. Ladies and gentlemen, the ignition finally has a spark! The spark comes in the form of Mike Richards. This spark just may prove to be enough to blast Kopi into orbit! With nine points in five games (4 Goals, 5 Assists), it appears we’re in for a hell of a season from one of the greatest guys in the league. We also saw what Richards does for the rest of the group when Dustin Brown fed Jarret Stoll a perfect from behind the net. Folks, on this goal, we had a real-life Dustin Penner sighting! Hmmm, may be something Coach Terry Murray should take a look at? We also saw some good chemistry with Trent Hunter and Kyle Clifford. Coach? The Captain got on the board shortly after the Stoll goal while the Kings had an extended two-man advantage. Kopi added a goal early in the third period on a shot that trickled between the pads of Jaroslav Halak and sent the goaltender to the bench after stopping just 14 of 18 Kings shots.
The capper of this game came shortly after the only (apparent) Blues goal was waved off. Kopitar, and his magic hands, lofted a perfect pass past the Blues defense to a wide open Gagne, who got control of the puck, waited for the Blues goalie to make the first move, and finished off the Kings scoring for the night with a beautiful goal.
Slava Voynov was a +2 on the night and looked like he’d been playing in the NHL for a while. Never did he look out of place and, with Drew Doughty down with what we can all assume is a shoulder injury (look at the hit!), it’s comforting to know that Dean Lombardi has afforded us the opportunity to be comfortable in relying on guys that have been brought up through the system appropriately.
Up next, the Phoenix Coyotes in what is sure to be a sellout crowd on Thursday night at the BlahBlah.com arena. Ok, everything that I just said is nonsense, except for the fact that the Kings will be playing the Coyotes on Thursday. Enjoy the game, fans!
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Tags: Anze Kopitar Dean Lombardi Drew Doughty Dustin Brown Dustin Penner Jarret Stoll Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings Mike Richards Phoenix Coyotes Simon Gagne Slava Voynov St. Louis Blues Staples Center Terry Murray Trent Hunter