There were flashes of show-stopping brilliance -- OK, enough about the Senators’ Bobby Ryan and his bid for goal of the year. The Kings survived that, and more, to emerge with a rare road win, and, as always, there were a few takeaways from a wild one in Ottawa on Thursday night.
Ruiners of NHL debuts
The Dave Cameron Era in Ottawa got off to a fairly decent start as the Kings looked sleep-deprived in the first period -- needing more than 10 minutes before recording a shot on goal -- and the game was there for the taking for the Senators.
Cameron is the Senators' new coach, replacing the fired Paul MacLean earlier this week. This was his first game as their bench boss.
But the Kings have a habit of spoiling Ottawa debuts. Well, they did it once before, on Feb. 3, 2009, winning, 1-0, in what was Cory Clouston’s first game as the Senators' coach.
At the time, the Senators were the NHL’s lowest scoring team. The Kings’ goalie that night was none other than Jonathan Quick, who also won on Thursday night. More trivia: The only goal was scored by Michal Handzus.
Ryan’s shining moment
Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb will come to realize that Ryan has victimized many others with his offensive genius, dating back to his long tenure with the Anaheim Ducks.
Some of the victims have been veterans, too, not youngsters, like McNabb, still learning the position.
Ryan’s goal in the second period lit up the Internet and will certainly be considered for the goal of the year.
On top of it, Ryan is playing with a broken index finger. He noticed that the Kings’ defensemen were spaced a little far apart.
“I thought maybe if I could get into the middle I could make them think for half a second, I could squeeze thorough and I finally did,” Ryan told the Ottawa Citizen after the game.
For Greene, it was his second goal of the season putting him halfway to his career high of four. Lewis recorded his fourth of the season; the game-winning goal was his first since last season, in March against Florida.
Those are all perfectly fine accomplishments. But the fact that Kings center Anze Kopitar finally scored, on the power play, was one of the game’s biggest takeaways, ending what had been a long drought that was closing in on one month.
This was his first goal in 11 games and first since he scored against Anaheim on Nov. 15. He has six goals and 13 points in 26 games, the slowest pace of his career, by far.