The Anaheim Ducks fought their way back into this Western Conference second-round series, and now it’s all tied at two-games apiece.
For the Kings, already in a low-scoring series with their California rivals, goals have been especially hard to come by in the last two games – both losses for L.A. On Saturday, facing 20-year-old rookie goalie John Gibson, the Kings got 28 shots on goal but not one of them crossed the goal line. Anaheim was also credited with 25 blocked shot, making it difficult enough for the Kings’ shooters to get pucks through the Gibson, although he saw his fair share of rubber.
Recent struggles have Kings’ head coach Darryl Sutter asking for his top players – he didn’t name anyone in particular – to battle through the tight checking Anaheim has employed in this series.
“I think the ability to finish it off. We had trouble scoring against Anaheim,” said Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider. “They’re doing a good job of keeping us to the outside, keeping top players to the perimeter. Give them credit for it. Not allowing them to get any time or space. Some of our top guys have to fight through it more.”
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.