The Los Angeles Kings had no answer for the New Jersey Devils tonight, as the team from back east skated all over the hometown heroes. Jonathan Bernier, in just his second start, made twenty saves, but it was the three he let in that will be remembered. It’s the fourth straight shutout the Kings have been a part of, after shutting out three opponents in a row.
The opposing goalie, Johan Hedberg, was fantastic and stopped all 31 shots at him. The Kings turned up the tempo in the third period down 3, with 13 shots as the Devils parked the bus and just took six. Can’t say the Kings didn’t try, but they just didn’t have it tonight.
The star of the game was Dainius Zubrus, who had two goals in the game, his first two of the year. The Lithuanian forward had a finesse shot for his first, then slapped home his second. Patrik Elias from the Czech Republic had the other goal.
Next on the homestand, the Kings host the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the Coyotes on Saturday and the Avalanche on Sunday. The Devils have two more games on their road trip.
It’s been tough going on the ice so far, with the LA Kings letting three goals in during the second period. The Kings had started to look good, but a Dainius Zubris goal 13:12 into the second period opend the floodgates, and the Devils scored two more goals before the period ended; putting New Jersey up 3-0.
All the goals came on even strength, and two were scored by Zubris; his first two of the year. The other came from Patrik Elias, who scored his fourth. The opening goal was a wrist shot from 11 feet out, but the others were slap shots from 26 and 29 feet out.
Both goalies have faced the same amount of shots, so it’s hard to say what the Kings need to do better. It’s disappointing to see the backup goalie getting pelted, but certainly the Devils knew going in that going slap happy was a good strategy. The Kings need to score in a hurry if they’re going to come back.