Last night the Pittsburgh Penguis rolled into the Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Kings.
The reigning Stanley Cup champs v. a team that hasn't made the playoffs in 25 years (figures estimated).
Both teams played a tight, close game through two periods. The Kings were outshooting the Pens, but the Pens took a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period.
That's when this game kicked into overdrive, the kind of overdrive that all fans (of the winning team, anyway) can enjoy: lots of goal scoring to clinch a victory. Not the overdrive where players just start beating the snot out of each other or anything like that.
No fights tonight, which makes me happy.
Anze Kopitar continues to dominate teams from all over the standings. He had another two goal night to up his season total to 13 and put some space between him and those trying to catch him in the scoring race.
The Kings also got goals from Wayne Simmonds, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown. They fired lotsa shots on goal, played with lots of speed, and shut down the Penguins top players.
This game, particularly the 3rd period was just what the Kings needed to really draw some attention to themselves on the East coast. They didn't do so well in their Eastern trip in October, and playing this well against the reigning champs sends a statement to the rest of the NHL.
Major props to the Pens post-game analysts who were full of praise for the Kings, unlike the Sharks analysts who ripped them apart when the Sharks were defeated by the Kings. Yes, the Pens were playing without Gonch, Geno, Talbot and Kennedy, but the Kings played them the way they should play a team that depleted. The Pens have been on the other side of that score many times so I'm sure this was unfamiliar territory for most of these boys.
This was the Pens first road loss of the season which is still pretty damn impressive.
Jordan scored the Pens first goal at 1:10 of the first period
Which was actually the second goal of the game as Kopi scored at :27 of the first
Greener didn't score, obvi.
But he had some good passes(!)
And was used by Craig Adams as a battering ram to break some glass.
The Canucks won last night by an identical score but the game wasn't as crazy and exciting because the Wild aren't very good at hockey.
Darcy Hordichuk of all people opened the scoring. Raymond scored, Henrik added a shorty, Matt Pettinger scored his first of the season and Burr added an empty netter to seal the deal. Andrew Raycrot has been solid in relief of the injured Roberto Luongo. Raycroft improved to 4-1 on the season. I picked him up on my fantasy team and all four of my goalies won. Sweeeet.
Somehow, Kyle Brodziak scored two goals
Christian "The Hoff" Ehrhoff's crazy face shows his disbelief
Big Bear has the flu and didn't play. Poor Big Bear, I'll be right there with Cold-Eez, soup, tea and tissues. Never fear!
What a fantastic night of hockey it was!