What an odd game…the Kings took the game to overtime at 2-2 even though they didn’t actually shoot a puck into the Blackhawks’ net.
I’m still trying to figure out what Jassen Cullimore was thinking on the game-tying goal. For those who didn’t see, Cullimore was battling with Jamie Lundmark in the corner, got control for a moment, flicked the puck toward and net and through the pads of a truly stunned Nikolai Khabibulin. Cullimore is a veteran guy, so why would you ever throw the puck toward your own net? Too many bad things can happen. In this case it could have cost the Blackhawks two points.
Of course, these being the Kings, it didn’t. Anze Kopitar and Rob Blake apparently didn’t communicate well enough in the defensive zone, the puck got free and Lasse Kukkonen put it past Sean Burke for the overtime winner.
A pretty typical Kings game, all in all. They played well enough to beat a bad team but came up short. Penalties hurt. The Kings took eight penalties in the first two periods and couldn’t get much of a flow because of it. In the third period, the penalties finally stopped and the Kings got going, but coach Marc Crawford said some of the guys might have been gassed because of the constant penalty killing. “We took a lot out of the (Rob) Blakes and (Aaron) Millers and those kind of guys.”
Not much good quote material out of the Kings’ room tonight. Here’s one from former King Bryan Smolinski, who was always good for a dressing-room quip: “This was a game of bottom dwellers. We’ve gone through a lot of injuries and a lot of adversity. So it has been hard. We’re just trying to win hockey games. We don’t care about the Kings. They have their own problems.”
Here’s an interesting note dug up by Joe Resnick of The Associated Press. Aaron Miller hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 27, 2003. And who did he beat that night? Phoenix’s Sean Burke, now Miller’s teammate in L.A.
Finally, going inside the box score…Jamie Lundmark, who got the third-period gift goal, was remarkably productive with six shots on goal. … Crawford is keeping Konstantin Pushkarev on a short leash in the third period. After the Kings tied the game with 13 minutes remaining, Pushkarev didn’t get another shift.
As I left Staples Center tonight, they were raising the scoreboard into the rafters. They won’t need it for a while. The Kings are gone on a five-city road trip and won’t be back until Feb. 17. The Lakers are gone until Feb. 13.