If there were ever an example of the first shift of the game deciding things, this game would have it. The Penguins came into Staples Center like bats out of Hell. Bortuzzo wrecked someone. And when Evgeni Malkin scored 57 seconds in, the Kings were stunned, and they never truly recovered.
Even though the Kings are struggling, there was a different feel to the Penguins’ game. You could tell they wanted to prove a point. And prove it they did.
As always, there were a few narratives to this game.
1. Jeff Zatkoff starting
Starting Zatkoff, a former King farmhand, came as a surprise. But the move paid off. Zatkoff didn't have to do a ton, and he was solid. His start most likely had something to do with Bylsma wanting all roster players to start during the Moms trip.
2. Kris Letang scratched
Word broke just before game time that Letang was scratched. This was cause for some speculation. But it was debunked on the Penguins radio broadcast by Mike Lange. Lange said that he spoke to Letang, and Letang said if he had to play, he would have, but he wanted to be 100%. </rumor>
Bylsma got a good look at Jonathan Quick. In the post-game, Bylsma basically scoffed at the notion that this performance would have any bearing on his goaltending choices in the Olympics, and that’s true.
No joke -- these two can play. We’ve given them a ton of shit on here, but they’re starting to grow on us. Not only do Gibbons and Megna have the speed to play in the NHL, they both have the skill. Go look at the move Gibbons made on Drew Doughty to draw a penalty. Supreme NHL move. As the trade deadline nears, don't be surprised if Ray Shero decides to ride or die with these two being mixed and matched up and down the lineup.