The short version: Puck dropped, Oscar Moller debuted, Kyle Clifford returned, the penalty-kill streak ended, the power-play streak ended, Willie Mitchell scored, Ryane Clowe chirped, Patrick Marleau fooled Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown answered, Antti Niemi exited, Marleau fooled the entire defense with 4.1 seconds left in regulation … overtime, shootout, Dan Boyle scored, controversy ensued, Jarret Stoll scored, Quick save, Quick save, Quick save, Brown goal, Quick save, game.
Just another night in the NHL.
“I’m not disappointed and I’m not surprised that stuff like that happens,” Terry Murray said after another gut-wrenching, 65-plus minutes of hockey. “I’m watching games in this league right now and it is incredible what’s happening late in games, overtimes, shootouts.”
My early story, which some of you will find in your newspaper tomorrow, has plenty of details on Moller’s first NHL game in more than three months. “For the first game in a long time here, he was really good,” said Murray, who went on to compliment Moller’s composure and puck-moving skill on the power play.
Some of you will find my late story, which has plenty of game details — in complete sentences, no less.
The Sharks were happy to get the point, which allowed them to match Detroit at 95 points (though the Wings have a game in hand). The Kings sit five points back with 90 points, three points behind second-place Phoenix and three points ahead of the final Western Conference playoff berth.
Some additional notes, courtesy of the Kings’ PR staff:
The 42 wins after 74 games ties a club record (also had 42 wins after 74 games in 1990-91 and 2009-10)
90 points after 74 games is tied for third most in club history (with 2009-10 club)
The Kings had an identical record after 74 games last season (42-26-6 = 90 points)
Jonathan Quick is now 9-0 in shootouts this season (stopping 34 of 41 shots = .829 spct)
Quick is now 21-7 all-time in shootouts (stopping 78 of 106 shots = .736 spct)
Jarret Stoll is 8-for-9 in shootouts this season (12-for-22 in his career)
The Kings are 3-2-0 (six points) vs. San Jose this season. The Sharks are 2-1-2 (six points) vs. LA this season. The two teams meet again April 4 in San Jose, after which the Kings have only three games left in the regular season.
The Kings consecutive penalty kill streak ended at 35 tonight
Tonight was the 31st sellout of the season, breaking a STAPLES Center record: previous was 30 sellouts in 2003-04