Any win over the Mighty Sucks is a satisfying victory. Honestly, maybe it's just becase the third period is fresh in my mind, but I really think 1-5 on the ice, the Kings were outplayed. Fortunately, they're allowed to play a sixth, because LaBarbera was fantastic. I'm on record as being a fan of the goalie rotation, a la Hrudey/Berthiaume back in 1990-1991. But it's becoming clear that LaBarbera is just flat outplaying Garon. Maybe it's because of the extra rest. Maybe it's because he's comfortable playing every other game. But it may be time to go to two for one split.
For the second straight time, the Kings had a goal disallowed, this time on a puck that Belanger knocked out of the air with a high stick. They rebounded to take the lead on the two man advantage with 10 seconds left in the period, Cammelleri banging home a rebound from the slot. They'd add another in the second, with Robitaille deflecting a shot from in front of the net over Bryzakjsahdfkov and into the net. The Ducks couldn't capitalize on a two man advantage in the third, but seemed to gain momentum, dominating much of the period, and eventually pulling within one as Andy McDonald went five hole on LaBarbera. The Kings were able to hold on, however, finally getting a power play near the end of the game . Conroy broke out of the zone, and a nifty move at center created some space and drew a hooking penalty on Sykora. The Kings went into puck possession mode, running down the clock until Conroy banged home the rebound of a Frolov shot to provide the winning margin.
Like a said, a win is a win, and when it's over the Ducks, it's even better. But outside of LaBarbera, I wasn't completely pleased with the way the Kings played tonight. I've harped on it before, but they need to be more effective on special teams if they're going to be successful. Despite the perfect PK tonight, I didn't think they were very good on the kill. LaBarbera was their best penalty killer all night, but they gave up way too many chances. Teams seem to be really playing a high pressure style of penalty kill against the Kings, and it seems to be working. On the flip side, the Kings have time and again gone into a passive box, almost daring their opponents to shoot. It's effective when your goaltender is on his game, but it's risky.
But we'll save those complaints for a night when it costs them. They're now 7-3 after their first ten games, which I think is better than most expected them to be, and it's certainly everything I could have hoped for at this point. Next up are the Sharks on Friday and the Blues on Saturday, then it's off to Dallas and Phoenix for back to back games next week. I'd settle for two wins in those three.