Game 24 (15-6-3)
Like on Thursday night, their goaltending and their defense was in top-notch form on Saturday. Unfortunately, also like their game on Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings’ offense was nonexistent – minus one less goal.
For the first time this season, the Kings faced the Colorado Avalanche who, despite finish at the bottom of the West standings last season, are off to a terrific start this year. With a new head coach in Patrick Roy, the top draft pick in 2013 in Nathan MacKinnon in addition to a few other moves, the Avs find themselves near the top of the NHL’s overall standings at 16-5-0. If the Kings were hoping to win this contest, they would have to bring their A-game. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be on Saturday night.
While the Kings did say goodbye to their four-game winning streak on Thursday at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, they were able to extend their point streak to nine-straight.
Despite picking up the point, there was little consolation provided for a fanbase that saw their team register a meager 19 shots en route the defeat.
After being outshot 7-5 in the opening frame, the Avs were determined to make their mark in the second as they fired 16 shots to Los Angeles’s seven in the middle frame only to be turned away each time courtesy of Ben Scrivens. But as per theme over the past couple of weeks, Kings defenders were quick to clear the puck out of harm’s way leaving their netminder with a slightly easier workload.
On the other side of the ice, Los Angeles simply could not muster anything. While Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov was good, he simply wasn’t tested as often as he should have been.
While they did welcome Kyle Clifford back into the lineup, the Kings lost Trevor Lewis to injured reserve which meant a blow to the team’s penalty-killing unit given No. 22’s tremendous ability in said department.
After outshooting the Kings 10-4 in the third, the Avs were left scratching their heads. Even with three power plays, they could not solve Scrivens or the silver-and-black’s pesky defensive unit.
In overtime, however, the Avs just needed two shots as familiar foe Jamie McGinn scored his fourth to win the game for the road team, extending their winning streak to three while, in the process, handing Los Angeles their second overtime loss in as many games.
As previously mentioned, as far as the goaltending and defense went, the Kings really could not have played much better. Even physically, the Kings outhit Colorado 40-34. On the offensive side, it couldn’t have been much worse for the Kings on Saturday.
Some would suggest that few teams can score much on 19 shots but, let’s face it, the Kings have shown that they have considerable difficult scoring after firing 40 shots on net. Whatever the reason for their scoring trouble is, something needs to change.
Even without the services of Trevor Lewis, Los Angeles’s penalty-kill was sound all night which included an undisciplined penalty by Dwight King with just three-and-a-half minutes to go in regulation.
Overall, Scrivens gets the A for effort as does the unit in front of them. However, if the Kings want to win their next game (Monday night at Vancouver), then the entire team needs to show up. It’s as simple as that.