Dustin Penner’s first game as a King was definitely different from their collapse against the Red Wings in the 7-4 loss Monday. The Kings went from a game where 11 goals were scored to a game where the only goal was the game winning power play goal by Jarret Stoll at 12:13 in the 3rd period. When talking about the upcoming playoffs, Stoll mentioned that “You really can’t have a bad period any more.” With any luck, the game against the Red Wings Monday combined with the addition of Dustin Penner will be what the Kings need to shake them up and get them into playoff mode as the regular season winds down.
Bernier got his second shutout of the season tonight in LA, but Terry Murray said he hasn’t thought about who will start on Saturday yet when asked if Bernier’s performance tonight has him thinking of starting him on Saturday. Jonathan Quick was definitely less than stellar Monday night against the Red Wings, but one can hardly blame him completely for the Kings’ breakdown that night. The Kings did well in their last afternoon game, but I’m sure Kings fans are crossing their fingers that their team can play two afternoon games in a row at a high level and stay in the playoff mix.
The Western Conference is so tight that one win moved the Kings from 8th to 5th place (and the Coyotes, who have played two more games than the Kings, but are tied in points with 76) down to 6th from 5th. Terry Murray often talks about how important the four point games are within the division and at this time of the season, these games seem even more important in a tight conference.