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Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks Game #18 Recap: Running Diary

I only have a few rules in my life, but this is definitely one of them: Any time the Kings give a rookie goaltender his first start and there are rumors of goalie guru Bill Ranford or 2018 replacement goalie Scott Foster suiting up, I have to keep a running diary. Here’s what happened:

Pre-game

We’re coming to you live from the Media Guy Man Cave! I’m joined here by Alex Faust and Jim Fox on the FSW telecast. The menu includes a small gluten-free Domino’s pie (many will understand why, others won’t), a couple of Diet Cokes, and some Garrett Popcorn. And, no, I didn’t rush out to the silver carpet at the Team LA store to get one of those new Kings alternate jerseys (more on that another day).

Alex gives us the bad news that Trevor Lewis broke his foot and is week-to-week. Mike Amadio will take his place. That’s when I realized that, holy crap, we’re one more injury away from seeing Bokondji Imama being called up from Ontario; maybe I should switch to whisky tonight.

Jim tells us that newly acquired, free agent-to-be Carl Hagelin used to do the stairs in University of Michigan’s Big House against the football team and beat them all. This is why he can float around the ice. Good to know.

First Period

0:00 through 10:57 – Shots are 10-4 in favor of the Kings. On Monday, the Kings had about zero shots at this part of the game. Big improvement, but this game is as boring as can be. Looks like these two teams and their 30 combined points (Nashville and Toronto each have 27 each) will be sleepwalking through another snoozer.

10:57 – The Chicago Blackhawks announce that their 50/50 Split the Pot will benefit the wildfire relief efforts in California. Classy move, bravo.

14:30 – Things are picking up a tad as Corey Crawford stops Tyler Toffoli point-blank, which reminds me that Toffoli hasn’t scored a non-empty net goal in eight games. Maybe he’s due.

18:40 – Crawford is looking very 2013 tonight, denying Nate Thompson, who decided that good things usually happen when you skate the puck in yourself.

20:00 – The pillow fight of a period ends in a scoreless tie. By the way, don’t let anyone fool you – this is no defensive struggle. Just two teams playing last-place hockey. Didn’t both these teams fire their coaches last week to get more intensity out of their players?

Shots – Kings 10. Hawks 8.

Second Period

Jim opens the analysis by saying the Kings can capitalize on Chicago’s long passes. “Risk vs. Reward,” says Alex. Okay then, we are really grasping at straws, aren’t we?

8:10 – Amadio with the first penalty of the game. Guess what it is? Another Kings offensive zone penalty. How many is that this season? Like 97 of them?

9:31 – No my friends, Toffoli does not want to be traded! From the looks of it, he listened to Jim’s advice and picked off a pass and banked it off of Duncan Keith. 1-0 Kings! Jeff Carter with the uncredited assist (disguised as a tripping no-call).

12:20 – Alec Martinez hands the puck to Patrick Kane at the right circle in front of the net. He proceeds to do absolutely zero with the gift. Who’s playing for Jack Hughes here anyway?

15:11 – Another Brown penalty. This one being a phantom call and would have incited any random Staples Center crowd. The referees are the most intense participants on the ice right now.

16:42 – Petersen channels his inner Quickie with a couple of sprawling saves which most likely ensures that Kings will kill their third consecutive power play. Jim reminds us that it was because Cal made himself as big as possible.

20:00 – End of period. Cal Petersen standing tall. Assist to Guru Ranford.

Shots – Kings 22. Hawks 20.

Third Period

Everyone is optimistic about Petersen and the love is still flowing towards Hagelin.

2:10 – Kings give it the old college try on the power play but all for naught.

2:39 – Brandon Saad? Yes we have a Saad sighting as Jonathan Toews feeds him for the bang-bang goal. Amadio caught looking the wrong way. It’s safe to say that Amadio didn’t bring his A-game tonight. Kings 1. Hawks 1.

7:20 –Amadio gets crushed in the O-Zone. Good time to say again that this isn’t one of his best game. Kids, I wouldn’t put his rookie cards in a safety deposit box just yet.

9:27 – Another clutch Petersen stop. It could be 6-2 Hawks really easy if not for Cal.

10:40 – Clang! Brown one-times it off Crawford and into the post. Ugh!

9:42 – Petersen again!

12:58 – Petersen making it look pretty easy. Shots are all of the sudden Hawks 33 and the Kings 25. Somehow I’ve barely noticed Corey Crawford tonight.

13:47 – And just like that Crawford stops Ilya Kovalchuk point blank on a nifty little shovel pass. No dice. Kings haven’t scored more than a goal since November 3rd against Columbus.

16:00 – Anze Kopitar gains control of the blueline and promptly skates off to the side boards. The 2017-18 Hart finalist and Selke Award winning version of Kopitar would have driven straight to the net. Instead it results in corner puck battle that of course the Hawks come away with the other way.

17:04 – There’s a stop in play and the place is still packed. Chicago might be terrible, but the fans are no quitters. The seats are 100% full by my measuring stick.

End of Regulation.

Shots – Hawks 34. Kings 32.

Overtime

Jim gives the Mercedes-Benz Star Player of the Game to Petersen. Let’s see how well this ages.

0:00 – Wait! Petersen is left-handed? Good to know. This is Chicago’s eighth overtime game this season. Also good to know.

2:21 – Petersen is not a piece of Swiss cheese, because Jim reminds us that there are literally no holes in Cal Petersen’s body. He comes with a big save after about 90 seconds of pretty Ice Capades-style skating from the Hawks.

3:30 – Oh geez…Kopitar swats an unintentional alley-oop from Hagelin out of the air and hits the post. I’m convinced that when I die, it will be during one of these 3-on-3 overtimes via cardiac arrest.

End of Overtime.

Shots – Hawks 35. Kings 32.

Shootout

Hawks – Toews. Miss.

Kings – Kovalchuk. Score! (Of course Kovalchuk scored. He’s scored on almost 50% of his lifetime shootout chances.)

Hawks – Kane. Miss.

Kings – Koptiar. Score!

Ladies and Gentlemen: Cal Petersen, Goalie of the Future.

“The Future is Now.” –Alex Faust

THE SIXTY-FOUR WORD GAME RECAP

In his first NHL start, Cal Petersen stopped 34 shots, including two from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the shootout, as the Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid in a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. After the overtime peried, Ilya Kovalchuk and Anze Kopitar scored on the Kings’ first two attempts against Corey Crawford and the victory was sealed.

NEXT: The Kings play the league-leading Nashville Predators Saturday night.

GAME NOTES: Stars of the Game: First – Petersen, Second – Crawford (31 saves), Third – Kopitar… Petersen once started 90 consecutive games for Notre Dame… The Blackhawks lost for the ninth time in their last 10 games (1-6-3)… The Kings have the worst record in the league (6-11-1, 13 points) and had been outscored 9-2 in the previous three losses… Petersen has now stopped 49 of 51 shots in his first two games (.960 save percentage)… Hagelin, who came over from Pittsburgh in the Tanner Pearson trade made his debut with the Kings, finishing with three shots on goal and 15:47 of ice time… Dion Phaneuf appeared in his 999th NHL game… Kopitar retrieved his game winner from the net and skated it over to Petersen…

QUOTES:

CAL PETERSEN: “Best feeling in the world. Obviously, the boys really battled hard for me. Just for it to end like that is really special. Probably the most fun hockey game of my life.”

PATRICK KANE: “We didn’t test him [Petersen] hard enough throughout the game, All goalies are pretty much the same. They’re big. If they see the puck, they’re probably going to stop it. (We needed to get) those side-to-side passes, especially against a guy who hasn’t really played in the NHL before, getting him uncomfortable and getting some traffic in front.”

WILLIE DESJARDINS: “When you look at Kempe and Hagelin and Luff, that line gave us some good speed and made a difference, and I was able to play them lots. And Thompson had a good night too where I could rotate him on other lines. It’s important for us to see our young guys playing well, and I thought our young guys were good tonight.”

JAKE MUZZIN: “We need to get wins, period.”

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