Slap Shot: Kings get Pecked

The Anaheim Ducks ruined Rob Blake’s jersey retirement party, Boston were caught by an Avalanche, Toronto’s slump continued and Washington paid the price for being too cocky against the Oilers. Here’s Alex Underwood with this week’s Slap Shot…

Kings get pecked (18/1/2015)

The rivalry began at the Staples Centre with the LA Kings retirement of defenceman, Rob Blake’s jersey. Blake is the first defenceman in LA to have his jersey raised to the rafters and joins names such as Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille in immortality.

Despite two power plays each in the first period neither team could find the back of the net in the first period. Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen, and Kings goalie Jonathan Quick both made key saves throughout the game.

The first goal came early in the second period, following a long pass from Jeff Schultz; Kings Defenceman Alec Martinez came up with the puck, and scored from close range to give LA the 1-0 lead. Midway through the period the Ducks evened the score, Ryan Getzlaf guiding a save from Quick into the net. The Kings were not done yet, following on from a hooking penalty committed by Duck, Cam Fowler, Anze Kopitar latches on to a perfect cross goal pass from Marian Gaborik for the goal, and a 2-1 lead.

Anaheim responded with a power play goal of their own in the third, a Drew Doughty tripping penalty against Corey Perry giving the Ducks an advantage, Sami Vatanen getting the goal to bring on overtime. 

Overtime came and went with no goals and so the shootout begins, both the first two shots by the Kings, Jeff Carter and the Ducks Corey Perry were saved by the respective goalies. The next shot by Anze Kopitar of the Kings was also saved, giving the Ducks the chance to win it, and they did thanks to a goal from Jakob Silfverberg , followed by another Duck save.

The Kings have now gone 22 straight shoot outs without scoring, the Ducks meanwhile have won four out of their last five at the Staples Centre. Not the day out Blake would have wanted.

Leafs continue to fall as a Hurricane sweeps through Toronto (19/1/2015)

If ever you want an example of a team nose diving look no further than Toronto. After four straight road games, four straight losses and one goal they really needed to win back home and avoid loss number five, keep those numbers in mind while reading this! Carolina meanwhile is flying at present and is six and two so far in January.

Seven minutes into the first period, Brad Malone puts the Hurricanes in the lead, under forty seven seconds later, Elias Lindholm made it two nil Hurricanes. Midway through the period Carolina’s relentless attack produced another goal; however this was promptly disallowed due to player contact.

The only goal in the second period came forty eight seconds in, Eric Staal putting the Hurricanes 3-0 up. The goal was to end Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier’s night; he was to be replaced by James Reimer.

In the third period a holding penalty against Carolinas Tim Gleason gave Toronto the power play, the victim of the hold Nazen Kadri finally put Toronto on the board. The joy did not last long as Toronto could not change the score board again; meanwhile Eric Staal got his second of the game in the closing minutes, to make the final score 4-1.

Later in the week it was to get far worse for Toronto with yet another loss, this time 4-3 to Ottawa Senators.

Washington throws it away (20/1/2015)

With Washington sitting fourth in the Metropolitan division and chasing the pack, would it be fair to say they got a touch too cocky when playing the Oilers? After all the Oilers are bottom of the Pacific and a long way behind, in fact second from bottom is the only thing they have left to compete for.

Washington started the first period as you would expect them too, Alex Ovechking scoring his tenth goal in eleven games. After the Oilers gifted the Capitals a power play it was Ovechking who gave Washington a 2-0 lead, his powerful shot breaking the camera on the net. Minutes later Edmonton responded, Derek Roy scoring his fourth of the season. The high scoring period was not over yet as Jay Beagle found the net to restore the Caps lead.

In the closing minutes of the second and with no score Washington’s Matt Niskanen was sent to the sin bin for kneeing Derek Roy. Seconds later Nikita nikitin scored for the Oilers, cutting the lead to 3-1.

The entrancing game continued to deliver in the third period, Nicklas Backstrom restoring the Caps lead, the goal itself was reviewed for high sticking. Teddy Purcell got a goal back for the Oilers from a very tight angle, and, with just over a minute left Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pulled the Oilers level and sent the game into overtime.

Both teams failed to score in overtime sending the game into a shootout, Evgeny Kuznetsov got things started well for Washington, but it was all downhill from there as it was the only time they found the net.  Derik Roy and Teddy Percell both scored for the Oilers, giving them the dramatic 5-4 win and their first consecutive win since November, the result saw both the bench and stands go wild.

Brewers toppled by the Avalanche (22/1/2015)

Having won six of their last seven games Boston were on a role when their plane touched down, meanwhile the Avalanche landed in Denver a after a less than impressive series of road trips.

The game started well for Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov, when he saved a clever shot from Patrice Bergeron. If ever you need reminding that every second counts in sport this is it, the first goal of the game was scored by Colorado’s Jarome Iginla with 0.3 seconds left in the period.

Boston levelled the game midway through the second period; a shot by David Pastmak was deflected of Milan Lucic, the puck fell to Torey Krug who guided it into the net.

With the teams tied going into the third period it was Boston who would take the lead. Fresh from suspension Brad Marchand found the net for the 2-1 lead. However the Avalanche was not done; in the dyeing minutes and their goalie removed for the extra man, Ryan O’Reilly found the net to send another game into overtime. 

After a scoreless overtime that saw an Avalanche shot skip off the post, the game went into a shootout. First up was Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon who put the puck past Tuukka Rask, Rask saved the remaining two shot by Colorado but it was not enough as the Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped all of Boston’s shots, and give the Avalanche the win. 

NOTE: Slap Shot is written between 5 and 6am across the period of one week. Teams may play more than once in the week, sometime against the same team. All four games reported are written the day after they are played and so information is correct at time of writing.

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Alex Underwood
I’m a mad sports fan living in Oxford but originally from Reading. Love the Redskins in the NFL and the Flyers in the NHL. I'll be covering both as well as more general topics on US Sports.
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