Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kings-Caps has Olympic Feel

The buzz is alive for the 2010 Winter Olympics. All the rosters have now been announced and some of the guys that were left off have been popping up in recent Kings games and making their presence known. A few days ago in Calgary it was Dion Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester. Today it was Mike Green for the Caps and Ryan Smyth for the Kings.

Green, skipped over by Team Canada in favor of the Kings Drew Doughty, tied the game just a couple minutes into the second period. He also led all players in the game with a whopping 30:33 of total ice time.

Smyth, also left off of Team Canada, scored a goal of his own with time expiring in the first period. Rhyno's powerplay goal finally gave the Kings something to show for their dominating performance in the opening 20 minutes of play - other than leading the shot totals 11-4. Up until that point the Kings just couldn't get anything by Caps netminder Michal Neuvirth, even with two other powerplays earlier in the period.

The sold out crowd had barely returned to their seats for the second when Green tied things up after Parse went off for tripping. Like LA did in the first, Washington dominated the shots in the second - with the numbers 13-3 in the Caps favor - but they only had one goal to show for it.

Then, just a few minutes into the third, Smyth was called for boarding. Washington was hungry for their first lead of the night, but it wasn't to be. Another Olympian came to the rescue for LA. Michal Handzus, who will play for Slovakia, netted a short handed goal for the Kings. The Caps continued to put pressure on throughout the rest of the game, however LA was able to hold on for a 2-1 win...their first day-game victory at home this season.

To show the difference in the make up of the two teams, Alexander Ovechkin led all skaters with seven shots. The Kings didn't have a player with more than three. You may recall back in training camp Coach Murray stressed the Kings need to have a shot mentality this year to be successful. Instead, today it was Jonathan Quick - yep, another Olympian - lifting the team to victory.

Next up - the Sharks on Monday.


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