With the Kings up 2-1 and less than a minute left in the third period, the Detroit Red Wings were on the power play and had pulled their goaltender.
With that 6-on-4 advantage, Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall fired a shot that hit Kings forward Jarret Stoll’s stick and appeared to go out of play. However, the puck ended up hitting goaltender Jonathan Quick in the back en route to being called the game-tying goal:
After the contest, Kings coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t shy about voicing his displeasure with the good goal call.
“Pucks go in the stands, and then they come back in and score?” Sutter said, according to LA Kings Insider. “Probably, yeah. Off the net? We’ve seen that. That’s embarrassing for the league. That’s what that is. It doesn’t matter if we’d have scored, or if they had scored it. That’s embarrassing.”
When asked about coming so close to winning, Sutter added that “we got screwed” and asked what the officials would do in the upcoming outdoor game between Los Angeles and Anaheim.
“That’s just embarrassing,” Sutter said. “That’s embarrassing. It shouldn’t even be that.”
Sutter went on to call it embarrassing a fifth time.
The first game of the second-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs turned out to be a total dumpster fire for the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
Not only were they completely dominated from the opening faceoff by the Vegas Golden Knights, they also lost their composure, taking nine penalties and giving Vegas two separate 5-on-3 power plays on the night.
The second two-man advantage happened because Sharks forward Evander Kane got himself thrown out of the game for cross-checking Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the face after the whistle.
That came with Vegas already trailing 5-0 on on the scoreboard. Vegas converted twice on the ensuing major penalty to open up a 7-0 lead.
This could have quite an impact on the series because that will probably get a serious look from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a potential suspension. The league has already issued four suspensions this postseason and we have only completed one round of the playoffs. Keep in mind there was only one suspension throughout the entire postseason a year ago.
Acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at the NHL trade deadline, Kane entered play on Thursday with three goals and an assist in the Sharks’ first four playoff games. He scored 29 goals and had 54 total points during the regular season in 78 games. Nine of those goals and five of those assists came as a member of the Sharks.
The Vegas Golden Knights magic does not appear to be running out.
After stunning the hockey world by winning the Pacific Division in their inaugural season, Vegas easily dispatched the Los Angeles Kings in the first-round with a clean four-game sweep, setting the stage for a second-round matchup with the San Jose Sharks.
That second-round matchup opened on Thursday night and Vegas continued to do what it has done all season — jump all over teams early and with no mercy.
Tuch’s goal was especially beautiful as he effortlessly cut through four Sharks defenders
Just in case you have forgotten, the Golden Knights ended up getting Tuch because the Minnesota Wild gave him to them to convince them to take Haula in the expansion draft, and they were able to get Marchessault from the Florida Panthers for taking on Reilly Smith‘s contract. A lot of general managers around the NHL made bad decisions to help build this team.
Along with the offensive outburst, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 15 shots he faced in the period.
With the Pittsburgh Penguins entering Game 1 of their second-round series without Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin, it looked like a great opportunity for the Washington Capitals to jump on them early.
Through 45 minutes it seemed like that was going to happen.
Braden Holtby was stopping everything in net. Alex Ovechkin scored 25 seconds into the third period to give the Capitals a two-goal lead. They were in a great position to take the first game of the series.
Then, for already the third time this postseason, the Capitals allowed a two-goal lead to turn into a loss when the Penguins scored three consecutive goals in four minutes to storm back for a 3-2 win.
Crosby tied the game just three minutes after Hornqvist’s goal when he one-timed a shot off the rush that beat Holtby through the five-hole, and then Guentzel gave the Penguins the lead when he was able to get his stick on a Crosby shot to beat Holtby. Both Crosby and Guentzel have seven goals on this postseason, while Guentzel has factored into eight of the Penguins’ past nine goals over the past two games. He has scored five of them. Overall this postseason he has 15 total points (seven goals, eight assists) in seven games. This after after leading the league in postseason goal-scoring a season ago.
The Penguins have now won consecutive games without Malkin after taking Game 6 in Philadelphia on Sunday. That game also saw the Penguins erase a two-goal deficit thanks to four third period goals. Malkin traveled with the team to Washington, skated with the team on Thursday, and could be available for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon. The extra day off between games could be helpful for him.
Meanwhile, Penguins goalie Matt Murray was tremendous when he needed to be on Thursday night and played a huge role in the comeback, even if it might get lost in the third period goal-scoring outburst. The two goals he gave up were on odd-man rushes following defensive breakdowns in front of him (including one just 17 seconds into the game when Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to walk in alone), but other than that he was nearly flawless the rest of the way, stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman regals readers with many great nuggets in his regular “31 Thoughts” column, but this bit on how the NHL reportedly responded to Brad Marchand‘s obnoxious kissing/licking of Leo Komarov from Game 1 (see the video above) might just take/taste the cake:
22. After Game 1 of the Toronto/Boston series, the Bruins got a, “We’d prefer if you could tell Brad Marchand to stop licking people” phone call from the NHL.
That said, you wonder if the NHL might have sent the Boston Bruins pest a better message by, say, handing him a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct? The league could have attached a helpful message, such as: “There are better ways to tell Leo Komarov that you like his cologne.”
(One can only imagine how harsh the discipline might have been if Sean Avery was the one committing this … infraction.)
As a reminder, Marchand addressed his actions after that Game 1 win, not exactly apologizing for his actions:
What is it about Komarov that makes you want to cuddle with him?
You could say that Marchand had the last laugh being that the Boston Bruins ended up winning the series in Game 7 thanks to last night’s 7-4 win. Then again, Komarov didn’t get to dress for that game, so it doesn’t seem totally fair.
The bottom line is that Marchand revels in this sort of controversy, even as he’s gone from a good player with bad habits to an elite one who still makes questionable decisions.
Brad Marchand with the empty net goal and the boxing ref "it's all over" sign with his arms. 7-4 Bruins and all three members of their top line scored a goal in this one. They showed up with the money on the table as most thought they would
While Marchand surely gives the Bruins headaches with his antics and sometimes suspensions – don’t forget that there were years of rumors that his behavior might get him traded, at least before he jumped another level or two – he’s a huge part of a dominant line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. For all we know, Marchand wouldn’t be the same player if he avoided some of the uglier stuff. Hockey is a violent, emotional sport, after all.
Still, if you’re the Tampa Bay Lightning, you must be wondering: “Could we be the team to get the better of Marchand?” Few teams have the firepower to match that top line (not to mention a defender to make life tougher for them in Victor Hedman), so maybe the Bolts will find a way to push Marchand closer to becoming a net-positive?
One thing’s for sure: the NHL will be keeping an eye on what Marchand does, so he better … watch his mouth.