With just three goals in three games, the LA Kings aren’t scoring on many of their first opportunities.
As such, they’re now focusing on second chances.
Defenseman Drew Doughty alluded to as much in speaking with LA Kings Insider, saying the best way to get to Blues goalie Brian Elliott might be through rebounds.
“He’s a good goalie. He makes the first save pretty much every time,” Doughty explained. “I think the one area he struggles is he lets some rebounds, and I think we haven’t been doing a good enough job of pouncing on those rebounds and putting in the second effort.”
The Kings have been out-shot in two of three games and 97-79 overall. They sit 14th among the 16 playoff teams in shots on goal per game (26.3) down slightly from the 29.8 they averaged through the regular season.
The feeling among players is that working for rebounds plays into a larger theme for success — specifically, getting more traffic on goal.
LA has some big bodies up front and feels it hasn’t done enough hard work in front of the net.
“We need to beat guys to the net,” forward Justin Williams explained. “We need to throw more pucks to the net. Sometimes I feel when you’re playing hockey, sometimes the puck that you shoot that you don’t think is going in ends up going in.
“It’s just getting it there, and we need to do a lot more of that.”
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.
For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.
Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.
Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:
Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.
Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.
The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Update: It didn’t get much better going forward; the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 6-1.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
Update: This seems fairly positive.