The L.A. Kings are back in the Western Conference final.
The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, now trail the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, thanks to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
- Should Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith receive supplemental discipline for a slash to the face of L.A. Kings forward Jeff Carter? The incident occurred in the second period, when Keith whacked Carter in the face with a one-handed slash. Keith received a double-minor, but should that be it?
- The Kings couldn’t get anything going on the ensuing power play, which could’ve changed the momentum in this game.
- Slava Voynov scored the winning goal, breaking his stick as he leaned into the shot. Corey Crawford couldn’t handle the change in speeds, as the puck slid past him along the ice on the glove side. They all count, right?
- Justin Williams gave the Kings an early first period lead. Williams now has four goals in his last four playoff games.
- Did you have Bryan Bickell in your playoff pool. If you did, you’re either a genius or just plain lucky. Bickell scored his seventh goal of these playoffs, on a wrap-around late in the second period, cutting the Kings’ two-goal lead in half.
- By the way, David Krejci and Patrick Sharp lead the league with eight goals in these playoffs.
- Jonathan Quick bounced back from a tough outing in Game 2 – he was pulled and the Kings lost – with a solid performance Tuesday. He stopped 19 of 20 shots. He robbed Bickell of what looked to be a sure goal late in the third period to ensure the win.
- To quote a line from The Big Lebowski: “Mark it eight, dude.” The Kings have now won eighth straight games on home ice this post-season.
Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?