Despite getting outshot by a margin of 35-20 in the game, the Los Angeles Kings held off the San Jose Sharks 2-0 to win Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals series Tuesday night.
Slava Voynov and Mike Richards scored the goals for the Kings, and goaltender Jonathan Quick picked up his second shutout of the playoffs in stopping all 35 Sharks shots.
Perhaps more remarkable than the fact the Kings were outshot by such a large margin was the fact that the Sharks barely managed to get half of the shots that they attempted on net. In the game, the Kings blocked 14 of them, with defenseman Drew Doughty leading the way with five. The Sharks also fired 20 shots wide of the net, with Brent Burns accounting for four of those.
In even better news for the Kings, they were able to keep the Sharks off the board on their power play. That area was a booming proposition for San Jose in the first round, with seven power play goals scored, but the same Kings penalty killing unit that only allowed two power play goals in the first round was dominant yet again. This battle is going to be one that should be watched through the rest of the playoffs, but this round, at least, went to the Kings.
The news wasn’t all positive for the Kings, however. In the first period Los Angeles managed to stay even in the shot department with San Jose, but in the second and third periods, the tide swung in a big way toward the visitors. The Kings were outshot in those periods 27-12, and even though they won the game, they are going to need to do a better job of not letting the Sharks dictate the tempo of the game in the way that they did on Tuesday night.
We’ll have more coverage of Tuesday’s game on Wednesday, so for now, here are our Three Stars of the contest.
Third Star: Drew Doughty
Doughty has been known as a guy capable of jumping in on the offensive side of things in his career, but it was his discipline in the defensive zone that caught our attention in Tuesday’s tilt.
In addition to his five blocked shots, Doughty also had two hits in the game, and in his 3:11 of ice time in short-handed situations, he helped prevent the Sharks from taking advantage of their power plays.
Second Star: Slava Voynov
Naturally the guy who scored the game’s first goal and fired the shot that ended up going in for the second would get one of our star slots. In addition to his goal and assist, Voynov was also instrumental in the penalty killing department, playing nearly three minutes while his team was a man down. He also blocked two shots and dished out two hits in the game, rounding out an all-around solid effort for the Kings.
First Star: Jonathan Quick
Individual honors don’t seem to mean a lot to players, especially with the sport’s ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup on the line, but it doesn’t seem like Quick wants to relinquish his Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
He has only allowed 10 goals in seven playoff games this season, and he has helped the Kings to five straight wins. Ever since he allowed a late goal to Barrett Jackman in Game 2 of the series against the St. Louis Blues, Quick has been dialed in, and it would appear that he has regained the form that enabled him to carry the Kings to a Cup title last year.