In this referee-plagued game the Los Angeles Kings stumbled through impotent power plays and an early third period collapse to lose to the Oilers in overtime 2 to 1. This had to be one of the strangest games we will see this year, and hopefully much of it will never be repeated. Here’s the X Ray, then we’ll discuss…
Where to begin… Maybe just some quick bullet points. The Kings had a full two minutes of a 5 on 3 power play, and got two posts but no goals. The Kings surrendered a lead going into the third but the Oilers tied it with just 4.7 seconds left in the game, and that came after an Oiler goal was disallowed (correctly) with 1:05 remaining.
There were 17 Power Plays in the game. 17. The Kings went 0 for 8, making it 0 for 19 for the season. Sutter sent out units with the traditional All Star mix from top two lines, and also used standard line combinations with normal defense pairs, but nothing helped. I am developing a radical theory; if the penalty killers stand still and then so do the power players, nothing is likely to go in the net. For some reason the Kings did not try the alternative of letting the penalty killers stand still while the Kings then moved around them.
The Kings goal came with 6:30 left in the second period, when Clifford intercepted a pass at the Kings blue line and then made a nifty pass of his own to spring Carter on a breakaway for a deke-to-backhand top-shelf goal. Nice , very nice.
Somehow the Kings allowed the Oilers 37 shots for the game, uncharacteristically Eventually something’s gonna give, and if the Kings could have just kept it to 36 shots they’d have had the two points. Quick pitched 59:55 of a shutout and didn’t even get a win.
In overtime, Sam Gagne netted one on an Edmo Power Play at 3:01 of overtime to seal the deal. It all fell apart late, but the game never should have been so close. Wasted opportunities by the Kings were more the story of this game than anything else.