Avalanche at Kings: Lombardi’s Son Brayden
Kings: 5, Avalanche: 2
The most important thing about this game is that the Kings never truly let the Colorado Avalanche get into it. In the first period, they owned 70% of the shot attempts and scored three goals. Every time the Avlaanche tried to close the gap, the Kings quickly followed up with another killer goal of their own. It’s exactly the kind of result the Kings need every night if they hope to make the playoffs.
The gravy was that some unlikely players spent time in the spotlight on national TV. Kyle Clifford played really well, assisting a goal and then scoring one of his own. The goal was the Kings’ fourth of the game, and what made it special was Clifford batting in a rebound with one hand on his stick. Why? Well, because he was busy holding onto an Avalanche player’s stick with the other hand.
You know the saying: if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick also made a few big saves, including reading a cross-ice pass to a wide open Danny Briere perfectly. Briere one-timed the puck. Quick was there. He got caught on the rebound, but Drew Doughty and Jarret Stoll put their bodies in the crease, blocking Marc-Andre Cliche’s second effort.
Brayden McNabb was probably shined the brightest for the Kings on the scoreboard. He earned his second goal this season, tipping in Clifford shot from the point.
McNabb also assisted Marian Gaborik’s power play goal and Clifford’s goal. His three-point night was huge, and his work seemed to even earn him some affection from coach Darryl Sutter, who’s been critical of McNabb in recent weeks.
Somewhere, Dean Lombardi watched this game and shed a happy tear. His newest Brayden. He's so proud. pic.twitter.com/EQfpnOHO3Q
— THX BUD (@thxbud) March 11, 2015
What’s huge about McNabb’s offensive production against the Avalanche is that he was paired with Andrej Sekera. At at just above 69 percent, Sekera led all Kings defenseman in possession. Sutter named Sekera as the standout player of the night. He had one hell of a game, and if he and McNabb can continue that chemistry, that second pairing looks pretty promising for the Kings.