LOS ANGELES – The message was specified by easy phrases from a staff that’s peering by way of the window of those that presently maintain the playoff positions inside the Western Convention.
Hours in entrance of one other tense, battle-crammed Freeway Faceoff towards the Kings, the Geese’ Kevin Bieksa provided his to-the-level summation. “That’s a group that we have to catch,” the defenseman stated. “That is one of the simplest ways to do it, by taking two factors from them.”
Ah, if it have been solely that straightforward. Nothing is on this collection that’s typically determined by one objective and the Kings weren’t going to fade away at Staples Middle on Saturday night time, even once they stared at a 3-aim deficit.
Nick Shore and Anze Kopitar made it fascinating within the third interval however Corey Perry’s lengthy-distance aim into an empty internet secured a four-2 win for the Geese because the rivals kicked off one other necessary stretch their respective schedules following a bye week.
Ondrej Kase scored twice and Ryan Kesler additionally had a objective because the Geese (20-15-9) took benefit of Kings goalie Jonathan Fast not displaying the standard type that received him a berth within the All-Star recreation later this month.
The Geese wanted to remain inside a big pack that’s vying for spots inside the Pacific Division and the convention’s two wild-card berths. Eight groups are inside 4 factors of one another, with Anaheim pulling as much as that margin behind the Pacific’s second-place Kings (24-14-5).
“We all know that’s going to be an actual stretch of intense and essential video games,” Geese coach Randy Carlyle stated. “So from our standpoint, we have to get our group enjoying to a better degree than we’ve performed prior to now.
“There’s no excuses. There’s no one else coming. We’ve our group collectively. Now it’s time for us to exhibit that on the ice.”
Kase’s second objective of the night time gave the Geese the cushion they might finally want in main from begin to end. Nick Ritchie made the scoring play happen as the large winger took the puck away from Fast, who went to play it behind his internet.
Ritchie discovered his linemate, who had an empty to internet to shoot at. The Geese had a three-zero lead early within the third and that was sufficient to face up to the Kings’ valiant try at a comeback. The Kings had gained each prior conferences by a aim, the primary in extra time and the opposite in a shootout.
“Anytime you’ve met a group within the playoffs, there often is a rivalry established,” Kings coach John Stevens stated. “We’re two groups which might be making an attempt to get to the identical place and stand in one another’s approach, so I feel when you’ve that state of affairs, there’s lots of respect for one another.
“However I feel there’s an actual acutely aware word that we’re each standing in one another’s means making an attempt to get to the place we need to get to within the division and the playoffs, so these video games have plenty of which means they usually’ve been performed that approach.”
Earlier than the puck drop, the Kings and Geese sat on their benches and tapped their sticks for Bob Miller because the…