carterhighfivesgetty

Discuss: Kings ride late comeback to 2-0 series lead

52 Comments

It seemed like Marc-Edouard Vlasic was going to be quite the surprise hero on Thursday. Instead, he was one of many San Jose Sharks players left stunned by a late Game 2 surge as the Los Angeles Kings rode a 5-on-3 power play to a 4-3 win and 2-0 series lead.

That’s try to make sense of the madness.

  • Ignoring how you feel about the puck over the glass rule for a moment and taking it at face value: did Vlasic deserve a delay of game penalty there or did the puck hit Jeff Carter’s arm? Sharks fans might treat that moment like the Zapruder film in the next couple days.
  • Should Kings fans be concerned that Anze Kopitar is injured despite coming back from a puck to the head? Sometimes these issues end up being a bigger problem than they appear at first.
  • Can the Sharks recover from this punch to the gut? It’s a pretty brutal way to lose, and now they find themselves down 2-0 in this series.
  • The Kings power play scored  three of their four goals on six opportunities. Are the defending champions the NHL’s top contender if that special teams unit can be an asset?
  • The shot totals were identical at 31 tonight. How close is this series despite the 2-0 score? Does San Jose deserve a better fate?
  • Jonathan Quick has obviously been fantastic. How do you feel about Antti Niemi’s performance so far?
  • Assuming the Kings advance, which remaining team presents Los Angeles the biggest challenge?
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP
Leave a comment

Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From the NHL:

Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.

Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.

Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse

Malkin to miss third straight game with lower-body injury

Evgeni Malkin
AP
Leave a comment

Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.

The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.

Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.

McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

Ryan McDonagh
Getty
6 Comments

The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

standings

Lucic’s plan is to ‘remain a King’ for remainder of career

Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis
AP
2 Comments

Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”

A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.

“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.

Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.

Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA