This time defenseman
He wasn't sprawled on the ice, watching the
The Kings had a pulse by the time they skated off the ice at
Muzzin was the defibrillator.
"That was a great feeling to come out and get the momentum for the team," Muzzin said.
It was a larger-than-life moment that kept the Kings from checking on tee times for the weekend.
"Getting that first goal puts the pressure on the other team," defenseman
Muzzin's big moment in Game 5 was spent off his heels. He slipped in the corner at
Coach Darryl Sutter came to his player's defense on the day off, saying the corner at Honda Center was notorious because it was where the resurfecing machine emerges to smooth the ice between periods.
"That's where they come out and that's where the water is, and that's where they close the door," Sutter said.
There was no reason to rush to Muzzin's defense Wednesday.
The Kings were facing the same situation they endured four times against San Jose in the first round. A loss started the off-season. An early goal was an absolute must.
They got it with a kind bounce and brilliant pass. The puck deflected off the stick of Ducks defenseman
All goaltender Josh Gibson had time for was to admire the handiwork.
"I saw an opportunity and it worked," Muzzin said.
Because of Kopitar, Muzzin said.
"He's pretty good, man," Muzzin said. "I had some room to sneak back door. I was yelling. I think he saw me before he got the puck. He kind of knew I was were down there. He has great awareness and great vision. He put it right on the tape. If I had missed that one I would have been sick."
It was Muzzin's third goal of the playoffs.
The offensive input was a big lift. But he also did a considerable amount of work doing his day job — playing defense.
The Ducks had five goals in their last 12 power plays. Muzzin logged 25 minutes, nearly five of which were spent killing penalties.
"I think we were better up ice," Muzzin said. "We didn't give them easy entries into the zone. We were pretty good at making them scramble from there, not letting them set up as much."
Which helped distance Muzzin from his "oops" moment in Anaheim.
Said Muzzin: "That was a long time ago."