In the first of three contests in eight days with their Northern California rival, the LA Kings drop a sloppy game 4-3 in overtime.
LA: Andreas Athanasiou (9) ASST: Trevor Moore (25) Olli Maatta (4)
LA: Trevor Moore (11) (SHG) ASST: Phillip Danault (18)
SJ: Thomas Hertl (23) ASST: Brent Burns (33) Alexander Barabanov (20)
1. Jordan Spence makes history
The 21-year-old defenseman was called up from the Ontario Reign this week and immediately played an impactful 14:23 minutes of hockey. In doing so, Spence became the first Australian-born and Japanese skater to play in the NHL. Having what Kings’ coach Todd McLellan called a “not good, but great season” in the AHL, the former 4th round pick showed that he belonged. His up-ice skating and mobility along the blueline were very noticeable and he even delivered a couple of hard hits. Given the injuries to Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson, Spence may end up with ample opportunity to show that he deserves a shot to remain up with the Kings going forward.
The trio combined for a total of seven points on the night and probably should have had more, given the plethora of scoring chances they created. Athanasiou has nine goals in 22 games and is making a case to be re-signed by the Kings. As for Moore, what else can you say about that guy? His breakout season is showing no signs of stopping as he scored his career-high 11th goal and added two assists as well. Phillip Danault scored his 17th of the year and now is one goal shy of tying his previous goal total over the past TWO seasons combined. This is already looking like one of the best free-agent signings in Kings’ history, so any more goals out of a Phil this year would just be gravy.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 11, 2022
3. Penalty Palooza
As noted by Jim Fox during the Bally’s telecast, the San Jose Sharks are not a very good team 5-on-5. In fact, they came into the game with a -23 goal differential at even strength. So naturally, the Kings couldn’t wait to get into the penalty box. LA took six minor penalties, a few of which being of the dreaded “offensive zone” variety. Thus, in addition to adding more salt to their coach’s hair, they also allowed San Jose to convert twice on the power play. Going 0-4 on their own power play opportunities didn’t help the Kings out either, but I refuse to write one more word on the subject because, well, if you know, you know. Sigh.
The Kings and Sharks will meet up again on Saturday, March 12th at SAP Center in San Jose. Puck drop at 6:30 PST.