The L.A. Kings, on home ice, were able to hold on for a 1-0 shutout victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final.
The Blues still lead the series 2-1, but, with the chance to put the defending Stanley Cup champs on the brink of a first-round elimination, couldn’t solve Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Some early talking points from this one.
- Jonathan Quick was hard on himself for the two L.A. losses in St. Louis. But he was perfect in Game 3, stopping all 30 shots he faced.
- Another low scoring game between these two teams. The Blues and Kings have combined for just seven goals in three games. Still been entertaining hockey, though. Great goaltending and physical play have dominated this series, and what is wrong with that?
- Slava Voynov scored the lone goal of the night at 4:56 of the second period after a wild goal-mouth scramble in front of Blues’ goalie Brian Elliott.
- The Blues were awarded a power play early in the third period when L.A. defenseman Drew Doughty reacted to David Perron knocking over Quick, who had his goalie mask knocked off in the melee. Doughty shoved Perron into the net and threw about three or four jabs with his opponent on the ice. Both players received penalties, but Doughty was called for the extra roughing minor, giving the Blues a man advantage.
- Probably going to be some sore bodies after this one. The Blues and Kings combined for 92 registered hits.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: