The Kings took a big step last night, but not the final step. Not even close. Yes, the Kings pulled into eighth place in the Western Conference, and remain within striking distance of Pacific Division-leading Dallas, but given how ridiculously tight the playoff race is, there is no time to let up. Still, being in eighth place is certainly better than ninth, 10th or 11th right now. As Darryl Sutter likes to say, “It’s simple.’’ The Kings weren’t perfect last night, but in facing an angry, motivated San Jose team, the Kings played with poise and were opportunistic. That was playoff hockey. Neither team wanted to cede an inch in the first period, but the Kings were finally able to open things up in the second period and generate some momentum. Then, for a second consecutive game, the Kings turned it on in the third period. Just as they did against Nashville on Saturday, the Kings scored three third-period goals to negate any thought of a San Jose comeback.
The Kings got two even-strenght goals, a power-play goal, a shorthanded goal and an empty-net goal. They got another goal from a defenseman and another goal from Dustin Penner. The key word for the Kings, of late, is “balance.’’ If this really is a three-game mini-series to determine whether the Kings or Sharks make the playoffs, the Kings took a big first step. But, again, it’s just one step. What was the key aspect of the Kings’ 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks? I present three options at the link below, and you can vote for your choice…
For those who enjoy the traditional game recap, it can be found by clicking here.