For a long spells, this felt like ‘80s hockey all over again, run-and-gun style and let’s forget about defensive structure for the afternoon. Nevertheless, there were several takeaways in the aftermath of a wildly unpredictable affair, ending when the Kings lost 18 seconds into overtime.
Beating the traffic is overrated
Even a few loyalists couldn’t handle it any more, couldn’t bear to watch the Kings fumble against the Predators. With the Kings trailing, 6-3, it seemed safe to leave Staples Center, right?
It was slightly reminiscent of another wild one at Staples Center, back in 2007. The Kings trailed the Dallas Stars, 4-0, in the third period. One big difference: The Kings went on to beat the Stars in overtime, 6-5.
Reflections on deflections
Predators defenseman Roman Josi’s overtime goal seemed to be about the only goal not tipped or redirected on Saturday afternoon.
The deflections giveth and taketh.
“I liked everything about our game, but they threw a lot of pucks at the net in the last three minutes and they caught some nice redirects and rebounds,” said Nashville Coach Peter Laviolette.
Afterward Kings forward Dwight King noted that “nobody came in prepared” to play a good team in the Western Conference. Lost in the rush of the Kings falling behind, 5-1, and later, 6-3, was that they actually scored the first goal against the Predators.
It came just 32 seconds into the game, from defenseman Matt Greene, after center Mike Richards won the draw.
Apparently, they were ready for the first minute of the game. By the 9:43 mark of the opening period, they were down 3-1 on even-strength goals by Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson and a power-play goal by Ryan Ellis.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter pulled starter Jonathan Quick, replacing him with Martin Jones, after the Ellis goal, the first time he has taken Quick out of the game since the season opener against the Sharks. Quick had made 10 consecutive starts, including ones on back-to-back nights in Calgary and Edmonton last week.