Game 31: Kings Lose 1-0, fall to 17-12-2
LOS ANGELES – After being going nearly a year without being shut out on home ice, the Los Angeles Kings get blanked for the second-straight game as they fall to the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 1-0 handing the season series to their rivals from the north.
Despite their notorious slow starts in matinee games, the Kings came out strong as did the Canucks. While not a lot of shots were taken, it was a bit chippy and it looked as if both teams were on a mission to set the tone early.
A little over halfway through the first period, however, Vancouver caught Los Angeles off-guard as Jake Muzzin had a defensive gaffe that sent Mason Raymond in on a partial breakaway. Instead of closing the pads, Jonathan Quick tried to poke-check the puck away but Raymond, to his credit, was too swift for Quick’s stick work and put it five-hole to give the Canucks the early 1-0 lead.
That goal was Quick’s only mistake as he was sharp for the rest of the afternoon making timely saves, keeping the game from becoming a multi-goal game. Jake Muzzin even redeemed himself somewhat by beginning to create some chances. Unfortunately for the Kings, however, there was no offense.
While Vancouver registered 13 shots, the Kings didn’t do much better as they recorded just 20 and very few of them were quality scoring chances. While I’m not taking anything away from Cory Schneider‘s shutout performance, many (if not all) of his stops were routine. In the risk of sounding bias, if I had to choose which goaltender was better this afternoon, I wouldn’t hesitate in choosing Quick.
Los Angeles had two full power plays today and they registered a grand combined total of two shots. The Kings’ power play was abysmal to say the least. They couldn’t get anything going with the extra man as the puck spent much of the time in their own zone. Power play or not, Los Angeles’ shots were weak, their chemistry lacked and their attentiveness was absent.
Today’s effort (or lack thereof) is certainly not what the Kings need heading into their next game as they travel to the Windy City on Monday night to take on the league-leading Chicago Blackhawks hoping to salvage the season series.