Check out Southern California News Group colleague Abbey Mastracco’s video recap of the Kings’ 3-0 victory Thursday over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center.
Here’s what Kings left wing Milan Lucic said of his spinning assist on Jeff Carter’s second goal in the second period Thursday: “Great play by (defenseman Brayden McNabb to pass the puck ahead). I kind of had the back-checker on me. Once he had his stick on me, I knew I couldn’t get a shot, so I kind of did a little spin-a-rama move and it ended up working out. Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to be good. Just glad it worked out because, you know, when it doesn’t work out, you look foolish. It’s great when it works out.”
Kings center Jeff Carter scored twice Thursday in a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center. He has four goals in his past three games after going through an eight-game goal drought. He also has seven points in his past four games (four goals, three assists).
Key plays: Jeff Carter scored twice in the first 6 1 /2 minutes of the second period and the Kings reclaimed first place in the Pacific Division with a 3-0 victory Thursday over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center. Carter scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season and later added an assist on Andy Andreoff’s third-period strike.
Playoff update: The Kings (46-26-5, 97 points) moved past the idle Ducks (43-23-10, 96 points) into first place in the Pacific. The Kings have five regular-season games remaining and the Ducks have six left, including a home date Friday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Quote, unquote: It’s going in the right direction,” Carter said of the Kings’ play heading down the home stretch. “We want to finish first. We want home ice. We’ve got five games left here. We know what we have to clean up and we’ll continue to work on it.”
Pivotal performer: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 21 saves for his 39th victory of the season, tying his own franchise record for victories in a season. Quick (39-21-4) also extended his club record for shutouts with the 42nd of his career.
Chart climber: Drew Doughty’s assist on Carter’s power-play goal 46 seconds into the second period moved him past Steve Duchesne into second place on the Kings’ all-time list for defenseman with 316 points. Rob Blake hold the franchise record with 494 points.
Here’s what Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg said after scoring two goals in an 8-3 victory Wednesday over the Calgary Flames, which moved the Ducks past the idle Kings and into first place in the Pacific Division: “It’s always good. With the start we had (1-7-2 in October), no one expected us to be where we’re at right now. We’ve been doing some good things lately. We’ve been playing good hockey. There’s a big benefit to being first.”
The Ducks won Wednesday for the 23rd consecutive time over the Calgary Flames in Anaheim, trying an NHL record for the longest home winning streak by one team over another. The Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in 23 straight games at the Spectrum in Philadelphia from Feb. 17, 1980 to Jan. 29, 1987. The Flames’ last victory at the Honda Center/Arrowhead Pond was Jan. 19, 2004.
Key play: Corey Perry’s goal 57 seconds into the game propelled the Ducks to a x-x victory Wednesday over Calgary, sending them past the idle Kings and into first place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks’ win also was their 23rd in a row over the Flames at the Honda Center, dating to 2003-04.
Playoff update: The Ducks (43-23-10, 96 points) lead the Kings (45-26-5, 95 points) by one point and the third-place Sharks (43-28-6, 92 points) by four. The Kings can retake first place with a victory Thursday over the Flames at Staples Center.
Quote, unquote: “You know what? We’re not even talking about that,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of chasing a fourth consecutive Pacific Division championship. “We’ve got six games left. Let’s play as well as we can. No matter who choose in the playoffs, it’s going to be a battle. We’ve won the division three years in a row, it’s not a big deal for us.”
Pivotal performer: Ducks center Ryan Kesler had a career-high four points (one goal, three assists) in his second game back in the lineup after a two-game absence to attend to a family matter. He also won 12 of 18 faceoffs (67 percent) as the Ducks went 38-25 in the circle (60 percent).
Injury update: Ducks goalie John Gibson left the game after teammate Hampus Lindholm accidentally crashed into him midway through the second period. Frederik Andersen replaced Gibson for the final 9:40 of the second before Gibson returned to the net to start the third.
Ducks left wing Andrew Cogliano has been nominated for the Masterton Trophy by the Anaheim chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The award is given to “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Cogliano has nine goals and 27 points and a plus-3 defensive rating while playing in all 75 games this season. In fact, his streak of 697 consecutive games played is the longest by an active player in the NHL and the sixth-longest in league history. He is a three-time Masterton nominee by the Anaheim chapter of the PHWA.
“The streak is great, but the way he handles himself as a professional is outstanding,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I’ve never seen anything like it from any other player I’ve been associated with. He does the right things for his body, puts the right food in it. He rests when he’s supposed to rest. He works out diligently every day, and that’s one of the reasons he has this streak going. He works out very hard. I don’t think people realize how tough he is.
“Last night (a 2-1 victory Monday over the Edmonton Oilers), he gets hit in the head (in a collision with teammate Jakob Silfverberg) and he’s down and he doesn’t miss a shift. He shakes it off. Other than that, for the Masterton, he’s just a really good person and does a lot of community stuff and will sit and talk with anybody.
“To me, he’s just the perfect candidate.”
The Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association has nominated Kings center Vincent Lecavalier for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the “player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
From our chapter’s news release:
Lecavalier, in the twilight of an outstanding career, had become a mere afterthought while with the Philadelphia Flyers. More often than not he was a healthy scratch, playing in only seven games to start this season and recording one assist. it seemed a sad way for a gallant player to go out.
Lecavalier, 35, is rewriting that ending in Los Angeles. Given a chance and regular ice time after being traded to the Kings in January, Lecavalier has become a valued locker-room leader for a team that figures to contend for the Stanley Cup. He has helped with his faceoff skills and his experience, setting a good example for younger players to follow. The classy center has eight goals, 15 points and a plus-4 defensive rating in his first 35 games with the Kings, but his contributions go beyond that. For his career, he has 419 goals and 947 points in 1,205 games.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter is a fan of Lecavalier and what he has done since the trade. “Two months ago, three months ago, they said he was done,” Sutter said a few days ago. “They just didn’t finish the sentence. He’s done well.”
DUCKS AT OILERS
Faceoff: 6 p.m.
TV/Radio: FSW / 830-AM
Update: Ducks center Ryan Kesler is expected to rejoin the lineup after a two-game absence to attend to a family matter at home. A victory over the Edmonton Oilers (30-41-7, last in the Pacific Division) would give the Ducks (41-23-10, second in the Pacific) a 3-1-1 record on their five-game trip across Canada. The Ducks have eight regular-season games remaining and catching the first-place Kings (45-25-5) remains a possibility. The Ducks are bruised and battered, however. They rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday over the Ottawa Senators without Kesler, Kevin Bieksa (upper-body injury), Simon Despres (upper body), David Perron (shoulder) and Sami Vatanen (head) in the lineup. Chris Stewart played Saturday after a 20-game absence because of a broken jaw. Rickard Rakell scored his 20th goal Saturday, extending his career high. Patrick Maroon, a former Duck, scored twice in the Oilers’ 6-4 loss Saturday to the Kings. Maroon has skated on a line with Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle. He was with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf at times last season with the Ducks