The Los Angeles Kings took on the Dallas Stars this afternoon on Fox Sports West in what was the 6th and final matchup of the regular season between the division rivals. This was the second day of brutal back-to-back games for the Kings, who were coming off an overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Long Island yesterday. Coming into the game, the Kings were 2-1-2 in the 5 previous games versus the Stars. Jonathan Quick got his 48th start of the season and Kevin Westgarth was in the lineup instead of Trent Hunter. Good call by coach Darryl Sutter. Also, sitting for the second consecutive game, was Dustin Penner. Yet another good call by coach Sutter. So far, Jordan Nolan has been extremely impressive in his time with the Kings.
In his 8th NHL game Dwight King – I REPEAT, DWIGHT KING – got his first NHL goal by going to an area where it seems many Kings are afraid to go. Congratulations to King and here’s hoping for many more in a Kings uniform! Assists on the goal are credited to Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar. After a great pace in the first period, the Stars held an advantage in shots (10-5) but the Kings lead in hits (9-8) and on the scoreboard (1-0).
A power play goal by the Kings in the second period put the Kings up 2-0. Andrei Loktionov deflected a Jack Johnson slapshot into the back of the net. Add another assist to Kopitar. Then some guy named Loui Eriksson (yeah, I know who he is I just hate giving any of them credit) from the Stars tried to ruin our party by scoring and making it a 2-1 game – still in favor of the Kings. We all collectively held our breath in hopes that Quick could perform his usual magic. Unfortunately, that’s when this Kings fan was called to dinner. When the wife says we’re going, well, we’re going! Updates, from that point, were provided via text message from the official LA Kings Twitter account.
Ok, back from dinner. I did, however, see the Michael Ryder goal before we left and I thought to myself, “how the hell did that guy get that wide open right in the middle of the ice?”. So I left the house prior to having a stroke. 10 minutes into our voyage to dinner, my phone goes off and let’s me know that Nolan also scored his first NHL goal. My wife looks at me sideways as I explode with happiness. The last time two Kings scored their first NHL goals in the same game was when Drew Doughty and Oscar Moller did it back in October of 2008. Williams sealed the deal with an empty-netter. As much frustration as we’ve had as fans during this road trip, this game was the biggest. To get these two points and not allow the Stars to climb within reach establishes the fact that the Kings should be buyers during the next week and a half.
Kings fans got some good news this afternoon as Simon Gagne skated for a 30 minute session. Since Gagne always tends to show up for the playoffs, getting him back in the lineup would be huge. I’m not saying he’s anywhere close but just pointing out that his playoff production would be a welcome addition, if the Kings find themselves in the post-season.
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Tags: Andrei Loktionov Anze Kopitar Dallas Stars Darryl Sutter Drew Doughty Dustin Penner Dwight King Facebook Fox Sports West Jack Johnson Jonathan Quick Jordan Nolan Justin Williams Kevin Westgarth Los Angeles Kings Loui Eriksson Michael Ryder New York Islanders NHL Oscar Moller Simon Gagne Trent Hunter Twitter