Jarret Stoll isn’t an All-Star center in the eyes of everyone around the NHL, but he adds needed elements to the Kings’ game they certainly could use in the Western Conference finals against either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings. Stoll was missed during the Kings’ grinding seven-game victory over the San Jose Sharks, according to forward Mike Richards. Here’s what Richards said Wednesday about the absence of Stoll, who suffered a concussion in Game 1 against the Sharks:
After some needless verbal jousting with a reporter who asked a perfectly harmless question and after fielding several other equally tame queries Wednesday, Kings left wing Dustin Penner admitted he was pleased to accept his current role on a line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Penner, a free-agent to-be, also said of his ever-changing roles:
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said Wednesday he believes goaltender Jonathan Quick is making more remarkable saves than he did last year in the playoffs, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the postseason. Here’s more from Doughty:
When asked Wednesday what the Kings can expect from either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings in the upcoming Western Conference finals, forward Mike Richards said, “a lot of problems.” The Kings lost two of three to each team during the regular season. Here’s more from Richards on the day after the Kings eliminated the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series:
Justin Williams should be called Mr. Game 7. After his two goals in Game 7 tonight, he now has five goals in four game 7s and four assists for nine points.
“I’m going to have to play a few more game 7s and have a little more success to get that nickname,” Williams said. “I’m certainly happy I was able to contirbute. Goals have been tough to come by for me in his series.”
There was simply no margin for error as the final minutes and seconds ticked down in Game 7 on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Joe Pavelski had the puck on his stick and Jonathan Quick at his mercy at point-blank range.
Pavelski set himself and fired.
Hockeywood’s Stanley Cup sequel is already halfway in the can. Can you handle more icing on the cake?
For as much as the earth shook in L.A. after the Kings captured their first National Hockey League championship in 45 years last summer by coming out of nowhere, the follow-up as one of the favorites has been nearly as much of a Richter scale rumbler, verified by Tuesday night’s 2-1 nail-biter over the San Jose Sharks to advance to the Western Conference finals. Continue reading “Halfway to the sequel … Can you handle it?” »
SECOND PERIOD: KINGS 2, SHARKS 0
Justin Williams, who hadn’t scored in the last eight playoff games for the Kings, put in two less than three minutes apart to cause a huge momentum swing. The first, on a power play, was jammed in from behind the net against the Sharks Antti Niemi after a broken-stick shot by Slava Voynov went wide 4:11 into the period. Williams’ second goal, a slap shot from the left side, came after a crisp drop pass from Voynov to Anze Kopitar who found Williams alone. Williams nearly scored a third goal but was denied minutes later by Niemi deep in the crease. Williams became the first NHL player in history to score a goal in the first four Game 7 situations he’s been in. How much did that fire up the Staples Center crowd? Almost as much as a blonde who showed up on the “Kiss Cam” and smooched nearly everyone within her reach. The Kings outshot the Sharks, 11-7, in the period and hold a 14-12 edge overall.
NBC Sports Network studio analyst Keith Jones predicted this Game 7 would end with the Sharks winning 1-0 in quadruple overtime. They’re on their way. Both teams had good opportunities in the offensive zone, but in a frenetic pace, neither could score as the game with a 6:15 p.m. start had plenty of empty seats from fans fighting to get in from traffic (although David Beckham and Tom Cruise didn’t have any problems finding their spots). The Sharks had the first penalty for the first time in the series – Joe Thornton’s high sticking against Mike Richards – but it was negated 21 seconds later when the Kings’ Jeff Carter high-sticked Joe Pavelski, for a brief 4-on-4 situation. The Sharks had the slight edge in the miniscule amount of shots, 5-3, but the Kings didn’t have an attempt for nearly the final 15 minutes of the period. The Kings’ edge was on hits, leading 20-12.
The Kings played host Tuesday night to their first Game 7 since a 1989 contest against the Edmonton Oilers at the Forum. The Kings won that one over the Oilers 6-3 in a Smythe Division semifinal, one of three victories in seven previous winner-take-all games.
The home team won each of the first six games in the Kings-San Jose Sharks second-round series, setting up Game 7 at Staples Center. The winner advanced to the Western Conference finals against the winner of the Chicago Blackhawks-Detroit Red Wings series.