Going into Game 2 on Monday, the Kings put an emphasis on having a strong start against the St. Louis Blues. The Kings can consider that mission accomplished.
The Kings scored 31 seconds into the first period Monday, the first of four first-period goals as they went on to a 5-2 victory over the Blues in Game 2 of the second-round playoff series in St. Louis.
Sutter since he took over in late-December, given that the Kings had often been tepid in first periods.
For the most part, Sutter has succeeded in turning that around.
In Game 2, the Kings scored four goals in a period for the first time since 1993, which was the season that they reached the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings' franchise record for most playoff goals in one period is five, which they reached three times (1982, 1990, 1993).
"We got off to a good start," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "Scoring 30 seconds into the game helps, but we didn't let off the gas at all. We were able to get two late goals that kind of put the game out of reach. It was a battle, especially in the third (period).
A lot of (penalty-killing)."
Penalty-kill comes up big for Kings
--Once again, the Kings won the special-teams battle via unconventional methods. The Kings went 0-for-6 on the power play and 9-for-9 on the penalty kill, and got a huge first-period shorthanded goal from Anze Kopitar. The Kings have neither scored nor allowed a power-play goal in this series, but they are focused on improving the power play, particularly the shot totals. "We're getting some wristers through, but I think we need to be getting a lot more shots than we have been," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Our power play has been struggling. I think we've got to create a lot more scoring opportunities with screens in front."
--They might not get into a playoff game, but 11 Kings prospects will get a taste of the postseason. On Monday, the Kings officially called up 10 players from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, plus junior prospect Tyler Toffoli, who led the Ontario Hockey League in goals this season. From Manchester, the Kings called up forwards Andy Andreoff, Justin Azevedo, Marc-Andre Cliche, Rich Clune and Linden Vey; defensemen Andrew Campbell, Thomas Hickey, Patrick Mullen and Jake Muzzin; and goalie Martin Jones.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're a confident team on the road. We've had success all year. We just went out there and played hard. That was not the second and third period that we wanted. We took too many penalties and gave them momentum, but a win is a win. We're happy about it and we're going to go back home and hopefully play well." -- Kings center Mike Richards.
ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES:
--LW Dustin Brown had three assists, including an assist on the shorthanded goal by C Anze Kopitar. Brown now has factored into all four Kings shorthanded goals in the playoffs, with two goals and two assists. The last time an NHL player had four shorthanded points in a single postseason was Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg in 2008, when Zetterberg had two shorthanded goals and three shorthanded assists.
--LW Dwight King avoided supplemental discipline from the league after his Game 1 hit on St. Louis D Alex Pietrangelo. King received a two-minute boarding penalty for the hit, and Pietrangelo did not return to the game and did not play in Game 2. The league office ruled that the minor penalty was the proper punishment for the hit, and did not fine or suspend King. "It's not a player (King) who does that," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
--LW Dustin Penner, after a disappointing regular season, has been enjoying a postseason resurgence. Penner had a goal and an assist in Game 1, then had two assists in Game 2. Penner drove to the net in the first minute, and C Mike Richards knocked in the rebound. "He's playing well," Richards said of Penner. "He's been playing well for a while now. He's starting to get the bounces... But he's earning his bounces. He's working hard for them. He's getting in the right spots and he's a big body. He's hard to move."