Mats Zuccarello

Kings looking for better start…again


“The first 10 or 15 minute of [Game 4], we didn’t have the start or the intensity that we needed. It’s about bringing that right from the start.” — Dustin Brown

“We weren’t hard enough [at the start of Game 4], we weren’t heavy enough for the team that we are. We got better as the game went on and things started happening for us, but it was too little, too late for how we wanted to play the game.” — Justin Williams

“I didn’t think we had a great start.” — Anze Kopitar

You’ve sensed the theme — the Los Angeles Kings would like a better start to tonight’s Game 5 versus the New York Rangers than they got Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, where they failed to clinch the Stanley Cup Final.

It wasn’t just Wednesday’s start either. In fact, the Kings have been outscored 5-2 in the four opening periods of this series — not the kind of statistic you’d expect from a team that held a 3-1 series lead. Remember that the Rangers took 2-0 leads in each of the first two games at Staples Center, only for the Kings to battle back and win in overtime. The difference in Game 4 was that New York held on to its 2-0 lead, thanks in large part to the play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

The Kings have only opened the scoring once in the series, in Game 3 when they went on to win 3-0. Los Angeles is 9-2 when it scores first in these playoffs.

“We’re a team that plays a lot different I think when we have the lead and we play with confidence,” said Mike Richards. “We don’t sit back. We just keep pushing.”

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
1 Comment

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.