LOS ANGELES – News that Raffi Torres will have an in-person hearing with the NHL broke on Wednesday morning.
How did the Kings view the hit that knocked Jarret Stoll from the game in the second period?
After the game, captain Dustin Brown said: “I don’t know. Stolly obviously didn’t come back. I mean, I just saw the quick replay. It looked like it was shoulder-to-head, but again, I’m not really paying attention to the jumbotron during the game. I’m trying to focus on playing.”
Head coach Darryl didn’t say a whole lot, either.
“You know what, I didn’t play Jarret in the third period, and he wasn’t resting, so that pretty well tells you, doesn’t it?” Sutter said.
[RELATED: Will NHL suspend Torres for hit on Stoll?]
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The Sharks may have had 16 shots on goal in the third period, but their first half of the first period was probably their best chance to get on the board against the Kings’ Jonathan Quick.
“We played great in the first. They scored, but we played great in the first,” Joe Thornton said.
The Kings settled in after that, according to Anze Kopitar.
“I thought we got our game going…after the five minute marker or the first commercial break we got back into it, into the rhythm and executing our system.”
The Sharks single best scoring chance was arguably Logan Couture’s second period opportunity. The team’s leading goal-scorer in the regular season slipped through the Kings’ defense and lifted a wrist shot that seemed to handcuff Quick with 1:09 left before the second intermission. That would have gotten the Sharks, trailing 2-0 at the time, back to within a goal before the start of the third period.
Did Couture think it was in as he lifted it towards the net?
“I thought so,” he said. “I tried to shoot it quick on him, and somehow he stopped it.”
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Los Angeles is playing its first series with home ice advantage since 1992. The Kings won the Stanley Cup as the eighth seed last year, starting away from home in every round. They’ve now won 11 games in a row at Staples Center, including the regular season.
“It felt weird to be honest with you, but it is what it is,” Kopitar said. “It’s nice to have home ice and it’s nice to stay home an extra day, but we realize that we’re going to have to do it on the road at some point, too. It’s just a matter of going out and performing, and playing our game.”
The Kings typically practice at their practice rink in El Segundo on game days in the regular season, but opted to stay in a hotel the night before Game 1 and take their morning skate at Staples Center. It was something they did at times during their run last season, so it’s a trend that’s likely to continue as long as they’re having success.
“It makes it seem more like our home rink from a players’ standpoint, practicing here in the morning,” Brown told LA Kings Insider.
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The Sharks know they won’t be able to get away with taking many o-fers on the power play, like they did in Game 1 (0-for-3).
“We had some good looks, moved it around pretty good, but it’s all about scoring goals,” Dan Boyle said. “Nobody cares how you look if you go 2-for-2 or 3-for-3. It’s about putting the puck in the net. Try to be better there.”
The Sharks’ dangerous power play was a focus of the Kings before Game 1, according to Brown.
“We talked about this before the series, they have a really good power play,” Brown said. “There’s going to be penalties, you’re tramping on a guy, big strong physical plays, they get called. We’re going to kill those. It’s the [offensive] zone plays, the hooks, the holds, those undisciplined penalties we have to stay away from.”
Two of the Kings’ three minor penalties were marginal calls, as Jake Muzzin was whistled for interference on Joe Pavelski in the neutral zone the first and Kopitar hooked Brent Burns, who went down fairly easily, in the second.