Saturday evening in Newark, Kings forward Jeff Carter beat Devils goalie Martin Brodeur at 13:32 of the first overtime period to give Los Angeles a 2-1 victory in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals. The Kings now lead the series 2-0, with Game 3 Monday at the Staples Center.
Your discussion points:
—- Los Angeles is 10-0 on the road in the playoffs. If they win Games 3 and 4 at home, they’ll finish the playoffs undefeated on the road. This is rather insane.
—- Let’s handicap the Devils’ chances of coming back and winning this series. Does 20/1 sound about right?
—- Jonathan Quick is the clear Conn Smythe Trophy favorite, but who’s the second favorite? It was Dustin Brown before the finals. Is it Drew Doughty now? That was a pretty nice goal he scored tonight.
— Hopefully the Devils’ trainer knows how to do that thing Mr. Miyagi did with his hands, because Ilya Kovalchuk’s back looks like it’s hurting again.
—- Both Games 1 and 2 finished 2-1 in overtime, but can we all agree Game 2 was miles better from an entertainment perspective?
—- Fun fact No. 1: The last time Games 1 and 2 of the finals went to overtime was 1951 between Toronto and Montreal.
—- Fun fact No. 2: All five games went to OT in 1951, with the Leafs winning four of the five.
—- Devils fans were furious no penalty was given to Willie Mitchell for high-sticking David Clarkson in the second period. However, the league confirmed no penalty was warranted, as Mitchell was following through on his attempted shoot-in.
—- Neither team has scored a power-play goal in the finals. Not that the Kings care, but the Devils probably do.
Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.
Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.
“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.
The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.
Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.