What to make of the final two periods last night? A lot, or little? The Kings dominated the first period and took a 4-0 lead — and outshot the St. Louis Blues 16-5 — but over the final two periods, the Kings recorded only five shots on goal and allowed a goal early in the second period that could have been a momentum-turner, if not for a strong pass by Dustin Brown and a strong finish by Justin Williams to give the Kings a 5-1 lead. It’s natural for teams with a big lead to back off a bit and “manage’’ the game a bit more, but on the other hand, will the Blues be able to take some momentum into Game 3, knowing that they had some success in the final 40 minutes of Game 2? Darryl Sutter was, per usual, direct and plain-spoken about his team’s play after the first period…
SUTTER: “I think we protected a lead.’’
Question: Is that what you wanted to do?
SUTTER: “We wanted to win. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?’’
Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty talked about how the game went after the first period…
KOPITAR: “It wasn’t the best. There’s no secret to it. I’m sure every other guy will tell you the same thing. We had, what, six shots the rest of the way? That’s not good. It didn’t hurt us last night but, we had the start we wanted but you want to stay consistent and play like that for 60 minutes. So, there’s room for improvement, and we’ve got to be ready for everything in Game 3.’’
CARTER: “I don’t think it was one of our best (efforts). Obviously we had a really strong first period, came out and did what we wanted to. Then they picked up their game and we kind of sat back a bit. It was kind of a weird second and third, with all the penalties and whatnot. There wasn’t much flow, and that took a lot of guys out of the game, with all the penalty kills. In the playoffs, when you win a game, that’s all that matters. We know there’s areas that we need to improve on, but we’ll do that the next day and we’ll be ready.’’
DOUGHTY: “They weren’t very good, especially the second period, and then we took way too many penalties in the third. We played great in the first. Having a four-goal lead like that is kind of tough to play the rest of the game, mentally, and I didn’t think we didn’t a great job with that. You saw the lapse we had last year in the playoffs against San Jose, when we let them come back and win, so we’ve got to make sure, if we get out to a lead like that again, we aren’t giving them those chances to get back in the game.’’