Technically, the Chicago Blackhawks only have one fewer power-play goal in this series than the Los Angeles Kings’ three tallies, yet it seems clear that Los Angeles has carried a significant advantage in that area lately.
The Kings went two-for-four in turning things around against the Blackhawks in Game 2. The Kings were only credited with a 1-for-3 mark in Game 3 and even gave up a Jonathan Toews shorthanded goal, yet Drew Doughty’s game-winner on Saturday might not have happened if Michal Rozsival didn’t take a bad penalty.
Here’s the Kings power-play goal that actually counted as a power-play goal:
Even with that Doughty goal being considered even-strength, the Kings have enjoyed arguably the best power play this postseason. They’ve scored a playoff-leading 14 goals while connecting on an impressive 24.6 percent of their 57 opportunities.
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter provided his typically folksy explanation for why things have been working well for his team’s power-play unit, as LA Kings Insider reports.
“I think we used lots of different guys and tried to use different looks and make sure that we’re not passing the puck into the net. We shoot it in there,” Sutter said. “It sounds silly, but screens, tips, rebounds are still the best way to score goals. Was our last goal a power play goal? [Reporter: No, even strength.] I mean, basically, coming out of the box. It’s the same thing. Guys are pounding the puck.”
On the other hand, the Blackhawks’ power play looked pretty flat at times. Joel Quenneville even believes his team lost some momentum after some of tonight’s weaker showings.
So, what should the Blackhawks do?
Duncan Keith: "They have a lot of good players out there. We might want to stay out of the box. No other way to put it, really." #Blackhawks
–Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took the league by storm last year and obviously, people noticed. Starting on Friday, he’ll have a beer named after him. The Conshohocken Brewery is coming out with the “Ghost Bear Golden Ale”. (Bardown)
–No one expected rookie Brandon Carlo to make the Bruins out of camp, but he’s been terrific in his first NHL season. Thanks to his reach and wingspan, he’s been able to be effective in his own zone. “The one thing is that he’s so long and his stick is so long, it gives him time to recover because as a young kid in the league you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. He has the ability to come back and recover,” said teammate Torey Krug. (CSN New England)
–The Pittsburgh Penguins have an interesting dilemma with the upcoming expansion draft. First, they need to figure out if they’ll keep eight skaters and one goalie or seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. Once that’s settled, the team will need to figure what to do with Marc-Andre Fleury and a youngster like Derrick Pouliot. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun takes a closer look at their situation. (ESPN)
–Through 24 games, Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has yet to pick up a single penalty minute. Some people might see that as a positive thing, but others might feel he’s too soft. So, which one is it? We know what MacKinnon thinks: “I’m being aggressive. I’m playing regularly, just not taking any minors. I think it’s a good thing. Usually I’m good for some roughing penalties and I’ve asked a couple guys to fight this year. I’m not trying to have zero penalty minutes,” said MacKinnon. (Denver Post)
–Injuries have hit the Tampa Bay Lightning pretty hard this year, but they have a bargaining chip named Ben Bishop. Is it time for them to trade him? Here are five reasons why they should. (The Hockey News)
–The San Jose Sharks are having some fun on social media. Their latest hilarious video involves players guessing which teammate of theirs is depicted in a young fan’s drawing. It’s pretty funny:
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.