The Kings needed a dramatic turnaround after the first period last night. They were, in the words of Jeff Carter below, outplayed in “pretty much every aspect’’ of the game by the St. Louis Blues, who basically controlled every square foot of the ice. The Kings were massively fortunate to be in a 0-0 game when the horn sounded to end the period. Whatever went on in the dressing room during the first intermission, it worked. It’s not that the Blues played poorly in the second period, but the Kings looked sharper and more aggressive, and were far more effective in the offensive zone. After recording only three shots on goal in the first, the Kings outshot the Blues 17-9 in the second period. Even though they didn’t score, the Kings at least got themselves back in the game and stopped chasing it. That’s not a huge surprise. Statistically, in terms of goal differential this season, the first period has been the Blues’ best (plus-26) and the second period has been the Kings’ best (plus-7).
CARTER: “We definitely turned it around. It was obviously not the start that we wanted. They were the better team in pretty much every aspect. They were first to pucks, winning battles. They were skating. It seemed like we were just kind of standing around watching, giving them room. They were more physical. We knew that, after the first period, that it wasn’t our game. To our credit, we regrouped. We came out and I thought it was a pretty good effort in the second.’’
Question: Was part of it just getting pucks to the net? Even if they weren’t great scoring chances, just getting shots on the Blues?
CARTER: “When you’re throwing the puck at the net from pretty much anywhere, it gets their D running around. You never know where the puck is going to go after it hits the goalie or someone in front. When you do that, it gets their D moving around. I think then it opens up some other chances.’’
Question: What was said during that first intermission?
CARTER: “I don’t think anything really needed to be said. I think everybody knew what had gone on, that it wasn’t our game. We’ve got a lot of character in the room, a lot of guys that realized that, and we just went out and kind of turned the game around.’’