ON KINGS – PENGUINS
The Pittsburgh Penguins earned what many will surely regard as a quality point vs the Los Angeles Kings Friday night following a game tying goal from Evgeni Malkin with the goalie pulled and a 1:10 left in regulation. Despite a near even game in almost every category, score, shots (PIT 42 – LAK 40), shot attempts (72-70 LAK), and close scores in now two meetings with the Kings in a week, no one in the Penguins organization should get fooled that the Penguins are right there with the Kings as a top Stanley Cup contender.
(Which the Penguins didn’t as Mike Johnston was fired moments after this post).
The Kings would walk circles around the Penguins in a seven game series.
Where the Penguins might be taking baby steps is playing with some emotion and determination.
“I thought the last few games, they’ve been pretty emotional games,” Mike Johnston said in what ended up being his last press conference as Penguins coach. “Sometimes coming off a long road trip, you worry about your team a little bit. We talked about it this morning. I thought our guys were really focused tonight. Those were two very good teams out there on the ice.”
That said the Penguins survived this one on how they have survived all season — Marc Andre Fleury —
Fleury was terrific in the first period when despite the Kings having just a 13-10 edge in shots, they had a slew of odd-man rushes and golden scoring chances. Fleury kept this one from being 2-0 or 3-0 in the first that included a spectacular save on Anze Kopitar off a set-up from Marian Gaborik.
“I think we had opportunities to go up by two,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"