Includes post-game video interviews galore, including exclusive video with Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown and goaltender Jonathan Quick—not available elsewhere!
LOS ANGELES — Slava Voynov scored a goal and added an assist, Mike Richards scored a goal, and Jonathan Quick stopped 34 shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal series, in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center on May 14.
With the win, the Kings have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 2 is scheduled for May 16 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, 7:00 PM PDT.
The Sharks came out flying early in the first period, aided by an interference penalty on Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin at the 5:23 mark.
But after killing that penalty, the Kings began to assert themselves. They gradually got their forecheck going and started to force turnovers by the Sharks.
As the last minute of the period came, Richards pushed the puck up right wing, and into the San Jose zone. He was stopped just below right point by Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin. As he was being checked, Richards pushed the puck to Voynov, who was coming up behind him. At that moment, Richards wisely tied up Irwin, giving Voynov all the room in the world. He had a clear lane all the way to a point above the right face-off dot, where he fired a slap shot through heavy traffic that beat Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi high through a screen, just inside the left goal post at the 19:47 mark.
Richards gave the Kings their final margin of victory at 12:30 of the second period, when Voynov wristed the puck towards the net from right point. As he skated across the slow, the puck hit Richards’ skate, and deflected past a surprised Niemi.
The Sharks let it all hang out in the third, outshooting the Kings 16-4 in the period, but could not solve Quick, who was brilliant once again.
Quick is now 5-2 in the 2013 playoffs, with a 1.36 goals-against average (GAA), a .953 save percentage, and two shutouts—astronomical numbers that are better than his final 2012 playoff numbers—1.41 GAA and a .946 save percentage.
Supplementary Discipline Won’t Be An Easy Call For Raffi Torres
Near the 19:02 mark of the second period, Sharks forward Raffi Torres hit Kings center Jarret Stoll in front of the San Jose bench.
Stoll left the game and did not return. Torres received a minor penalty for charging on the play.
Video replay shows that Torres came from distance to hit Stoll, one possible reason for the charging call. Torres also made contact with Stoll’s head, bringing up the possibility that National Hockey League Rule 48.1 could be in play here:
Rule 48.1 – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered.
Although a reverse angle indicates that the principal point of contact was Stoll’s head, working against a finding that Torres violated this rule was that Stoll was bent over, and was just moving into an upright position at the time of the hit.
In other words, it is not at all clear that Rule 48.1 will apply in this incident. But that still leaves the door open for supplementary discipline for charging:
Rule 42.1: Charging – A minor or major penalty shall be imposed in a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any matter.
Indeed, what could work against Torres is that video replay appears to show that he launched himself—not violently or maliciously, mind you—into Stoll.
You can watch the videos below.
What also works against Torres is that he is a multiple repeat offender. However, after viewing the videos numerous times, the issue of supplementary discipline in this case is not as clear-cut as many people seem to think.
While many contend it was a dirty hit, that means there had to be malicious intent involved, which is doubtful, at best, so we can forget about the hit being dirty.
That leaves recklessness and carelessness. Did Torres launch himself into Stoll? If you watch the video carefully, (and do so several times), it is not as clear-cut as so many claim.
In any case, the league will certainly look closely at this incident, especially since Torres is involved. Just know that this one could easily go either way.
- Quick earned his sixth career playoff shutout (franchise record). Two of Quick’s playoff shutouts have come vs. San Jose (other was April 16, 2011 at San Jose, a 4-0 win)
- Quick has now stopped 202 of 212 shots in seven playoff games this year. He now has 25 career playoff wins (Kelly Hrudey owns the club record with 26).
- The Kings have won five straight games (after dropping the first two in St. Louis).
- The Kings have won all four playoff games at home (club playoff record for consecutive home wins).
- Including the regular season, the Kings have now won eleven straight at home (23-4-1 overall this season).
- The longest home winning streak in club history (regular season) is 12 (October 10 to December 5, 1992).
- When winning Game 1 of a playoff series, the Kings have won ten of 16 series.
- Voynov (goal, assist) recorded his first career multi-point game in the playoffs. He leads the Kings with a +7 rating in the playoffs.
- Richards has six points (goal, five assists) in the last four games.
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NOTE: Interviews with Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick include expanded coverage not available elsewhere.
Post-Game Interviews via KingsVision On YouTube
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