I really hate to recap games like this because it means that I actually have to watch the whole game. I'm going to do this in a disjointed fashion, since the game itself wasn't particularly exciting. The shots were 22 and 23 for the Avs and Kings respectively. Both teams were good defensively, especially on the pk but the Kings capitalized on their chances while the Avs did not. Craig Anderson did not have a particularly bad game - only the last goal was on him. I do believe that he is starting to wear out. He's going down early, making lazy clears and seems to lack that fire that makes him one of the most penalized goalies in the NHL. It's safe to say that he'll get his 17th consecutive start in March which, if I am not mistaken, will be a franchise (or maybe just Avs?) record. I feel like ranting some more but I already complain about this a lot.
Moving on to the Kings goals. The first one was on a Brad Richardson tip from a hard Rob Scuderi point shot. It was a result of good hard work along the boards by Richardson, who I am sure was happy to score on his old team. The next play was on the powerplay. Ryan Smyth did what he do best and parked his ass in front of Anderson. Anze Kopitar made a perfect shot past the blinded Anderson. The last goal saw Oscar Moller get a sort of breakaway with Kyle Quincey (were was the fire against the old team?) trying to catch up and Scott Hannan (smartly) cutting off any pass attempts. Moller shot it pretty much straight on and it squeaked by Anderson. Anderson was visibly upset but I doubt the Avs had a comeback in them anyway.
The Avs did get their chances. A key moment in the game was a five minute powerplay that the Avs did not manage to score on. In fact, they didn't generate much pressure at all and the Kings got the boost, scoring shortly after the kill. Matt Duchene created a great chance in the 2nd with a little stop and start maneuver that had him alone in front of the net. Ruslan Salei, playing only his second game had two chances. One off a great pass by Paul Stastny where Jonathan Quick made a hell of a blocker save and another where he sent in a hard wrister that knocked Quick's helmet off. Darcy Tucker had a chance with a lot of time and space. He tried a slapper but broke his stick and fell down. I hope he is worth 2 mil to have in the locker room because he is doing nothing on the ice.
Dustin's Three Stars
3rd Star - Rich Clune - this guy is a dirtbag but he did what he was supposed to. He riled up Anderson and got into a fight. He also picked up two assists, which were his first two NHL points. The a-hole.
2nd Star - Jonathan Quick - he went head to head with the guy many thought should beat him out for the USA Olympic hockey team and beat him. He didn't have to be outstanding but he earned his shutout.
1st Star - Matt Greene - best defenseman on the ice for either team. He was hitting, blocking shots and it seemed like whenever an Avs play was broken up, this guy was the reason.
Minus of the Game - I hate do this because I love Chris Durno, but what the hell was he thinking? He was on the receiving end of a board by Rob Scuderi that resulted in a five minute major. So he knew, first-hand, that the refs weren't going to tolerate dangerous hits. So what does he do? Takes two penalties due to dangerous hits. The first one was was excusable. But the second was exactly like the Scuderi hit except the Kings player didn't lie on the ice until the play was called! Poor showing, Durno. Sacco clearly wasn't happy as Durno got a team-low 3.20 of ice time.
One other interesting thing. After being scratched for four straight games, John-Michael Liles was back in the lineup and received the 2nd most ice time of any defensmen with only Hannan getting more. Probably jacked up by a lot of powerplay time but still.
And now the Avalanche have two weeks without a game, leaving us all stewing with this loss. But Paul Stastny, Ruslan Salei and Peter Budaj (who'll probably be on the bench there too) will be playing. I'm also looking foward to seen our old friend Peter Forsberg back action with team Sweden. Even with no Avs games, the next two weeks will be great for us hockey fans. We here at MHH will still be putting up content every day, if possible, so don't forget to stop by!