The Kings won last night’s game in the fourth round of the shootout, but the game would not have reached the shootout if not for a massive penalty kill in overtime by the Kings. St. Louis had 1 minutes, 53 seconds, of a 4-on-3 advantage. Kings defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell were on the for the entire kill, with only one whistle for a rest, with came with 1:06 remaining. That’s when the Kings swapped centers, with Anze Kopitar replacing Jarret Stoll. During the power play, the Blues recorded only one shot on goal, while Kopitar had two blocked shots and Greene had one. The penalty kill, of course, came at the end of a long, grueling game, but Greene and Mitchell did a superb job of holding off the Blues. Today, I asked Darryl Sutter about leaving the defensemen on the ice for the entire penalty kill, and if he had any particular message to them when they went onto the ice.
SUTTER: “Greener and Willie are shot-blocker guys, and they are first (penalty-kill unit) guys. So they’re going to be out there. There was a whistle, so it wasn’t like we had to change. The only thing we changed was, Stollly took the faceoff on one side and Kopi on the other. Really, 4-on-3 is easier to kill than a 5-on-4. There are less options. You take away the middle and, the big difference is, you know you’re going to have to block shots. Stolly always blocks shots and Kopi is a smart guy. Willie, Greener and Robbie (Scuderi), two of the three of them are going to be out there.’’