Blues coach Ken Hitchcock suggested that this series might not be as much of a low-scoring affair as people are predicting. Perhaps not, but Game 1 at least was the goaltending duel that almost everyone anticipated it would be.
Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott allowed a combined three goals and the Kings also got an empty netter in their 3-1 victory over St. Louis.
Here’s a few post-game notes:
- The Blues spent eight of the final 20 minutes of the game killing off penalties. St. Louis didn’t allow a power-play goal, but it’s still very hard to stage a comeback under those circumstances.
- The squads’ combined shots total for the first period was 24, but they only managed 33 shots on goal for the remainder of the game.
- Blues’ defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was boarded by Dwight King in the second period and left the game.
- Slava Voynov and Matt Greene each netted their first goal of the playoffs for Los Angeles.
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?