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The Key Three: March 24

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Three key aspects of the Kings’ 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins...

It’s fair, and accurate, to simply look at the special-teams numbers as telling the story. The Kings went 0-for-4 on the power play and allowed a shorthanded goal. Simple as that. Except, it was even a little worse than that. The Kings had power plays in prime opportunities in the game, and when they didn’t score, the momentum swung to the Bruins, who took advantage. The Kings had two power plays early in the second period, and they gave up a shorthanded goal. The Kings had a wonderful power play late in the second period, but didn’t score, and the Bruins scored twice in the first six minutes of the third period to take a huge 3-1 lead.

Taken on its own, the first period went relatively well for the Kings. They outshot the Bruins 15-11 and, by a fairly wide margin, got the better of the offensive chances. Only one problem: no goals. Statistically, the Bruins’ worst period this season has been the first period. Just as the Kings had to feel good, on Thursday, about escaping the first period tied 0-0 with St. Louis, the Bruins probably felt the same last night. They took a few punches from the Kings, but goalie Tim Thomas looked strong, and the Bruins most likely went into the locker room feeling confident that their best hockey would be ahead of them. That was proven to be correct.

In terms of officials’ calls, the Kings couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second period. Tyler Seguin got called for hooking 41 seconds into the period, and the Kings looked as though they’d been roused from bed and immediately asked to play hockey. They did nothing with the power play. Then, they got another chance at the 4:53 mark, when Brian Rolston got called for holding. Just 25 seconds later, the puck was in the back of the Kings’ net, after Brad Marchand forced a turnover and Patrice Bergeron scored. The Kings rebounded with a goal, but the special-teams swing early in the second period meant Boston never trailed.
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