Everyone knows the Kings haven’t won in five games. Most know that they haven’t scored more than two goals in nine consecutive games. The drought is actually more stark than that. The Kings haven’t scored a first-period goal in their last five games and have allowed the first goal in each of their last five. This season, the Kings have a 10-2-3 record when they score the first goal and 3-11-1 record when they allow the first goal. In 30 games, the Kings have a total of only 11 first-period goals. On the other side, Columbus has scored 23 first-period goals. The Blue Jackets have a 8-5-2 record when they score first and a 1-12-2 record when they allow the first goal. Today, John Stevens talked about the importance of a strong start.
STEVENS: “I think that’s something we’ve really focused on in the last couple years, just how important, in the game of hockey, the first period is, getting the lead and coming out of the first period with the lead. You look at the last game in Boston, we had three minor penalties in the first period. That really disrupts your bench. You have guys that want to get out there and play, that don’t kill penalties and are sitting there for too long. You’ve got guys who do kill penalties who are using a lot of energy. It’s never a good thing. Getting off to a good start, getting an early lead, or at least playing well and spending time in the offensive zone and not giving up anything, is critical to success in our game. Not that you don’t want to have the ability to come back, but statistics prove that the team that gets out front early wins a high percentage of those games.’’