Key play: Mark Scheifele scored the only goal in a shootout and the Winnipeg Jets rallied for a 4-3 victory Saturday over the Kings at Staples Center. Scheifele fired a shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick in the second round.
Pivotal performer: Left wing Milan Lucic set up Kings teammate Tanner Pearson’s first-period goal with an alert cross-ice pass from along the left wing boards. Lucic’s assist was his 35th of the season, tying his career high. He had 35 while with the Boston Bruins in 2013-14 and 2011-12.
Quote, unquote: “We’re going to have to change our attitude before the playoffs start or else we’re not going to last long,” defenseman Jake Muzzin said after the Kings squandered a three-goal lead. “Everyone’s got to buy in. Everyone’s got to dig down and do their job.”
Between the pipes: Quick made his 68th appearance of the season and looked to extend his franchise record for victories to 41. He made 28 saves in regulation plus overtime. Ondrej Pavelec played for the 33rd time for the Jets, who failed to qualify for the playoffs. He made 26 saves plus three more in the shootout.
Injury updates: Kings defenseman Alec Martinez sat out for the fourth game because of an injury the team has declined to disclose. Winger Marian Gaborik (knee) and defenseman Matt Greene (shoulder) skated with their teammates for at least part of their morning skate.
Key play: Jeff Carter scored 2:50 into 3-on-3 overtime to give the Kings a 4-3 victory Wednesday over the Washington Capitals at Staples Center. Carter joined the play after the Kings changed forwards on a rush up the ice. The Capitals lost track of him and he scored from the right wing. The Kings squandered a three-goal lead in the third period but returned to first place in the Pacific Division with their win and the Ducks’ loss to the Colorado Avalanche..
Pivotal performer: Winger Tanner Pearson assisted on the Kings’ first two goals, a power-play strike by center Vincent Lecavalier and an even-strength marker by defenseman Jake Muzzin. The Kings went on to take what appeared to be a commanding 3-0 lead by the end of the first period.
Quote, unquote: “We played a good first period, started to slow down a bit,” Carter said. “We can’t let teams back in the game like that. We have to play the full 60 (minutes). These games are huge. We’ll take the two points, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Welcome back: The Kings honored ex-teammates Mike Richards and Justin Williams with separate scoreboard videos during TV timeouts during the first period. Richards and Williams were given standing ovations by Kings fans during their first games back at Staples Center.
Dropping the gloves: Dwight King of the Kings and Mike Weber fought to a draw near the end of the first period, with King earning a takedown to end it. In the second, Kyle Clifford of the Kings fought a spirited battle with Tom Wilson of the Capitals.
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin had an assist during the Kings’ 3-2 victory Tuesday over the Dallas Stars at Staples Center, extending his points streak to eight consecutive games (one goal seven assists). His streak is the longest by a Kings defenseman since Lubomir Visnovsky had a nine-game streak in December 2005. Visnovsky had one goal and 11 assists during his streak.
“I’ll take it, but it’s not like I’m going out there to get points,” he said. “I want to contribute offensively when I can. It’s just about getting pucks to the net, tips and rebounds and those kind of things, where you’re picking up points. I think it’s more luck than anything right now. I’ll take it, though.
“It’s not like it’s in my mind I’ve got to do something crazy here to keep this thing going. That’s not what I’m thinking about.”
Key play: Milan Lucic drifted into the slot, accepted a centering pass from Anze Kopitar and scored the tiebreaking goal 6:17 into the third period and the Kings went on to a 3-2 victory Tuesday over the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. Jake Muzzin had the second assist on Lucic’s 12th goal of the season.
Pivotal performer: Kings center Vincent Lecavalier scored his third power-play goal in as many games. Lecavalier has three goals in six games since the Kings acquired him and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Jordan Weal and a third-round draft pick.
Quote, unquote: “The standings show we’re playing better than them, but there’s so much that can happen,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said of the team’s lead over the rest of the Pacific Division, which grew to 12 points. “There are almost 40 points left. … You can never be comfortable. All those other guys, all those teams are going to want to catch us and they’ll do whatever it takes.”
Line shifts: Kings coach Darryl Sutter shifted center Jeff Carter to right wing for Tuesday’s game against the Stars. It fueled speculation was suffering from an unspecified upper-body injury and would enable him to avoid taking faceoffs, which could cause him pain.
Breakaway move: Stars defenseman John Klingberg skated ahead of the pack on a second-period breakaway, but was denied on a vintage Peter Forsberg-like move by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick at the moment of truth. Klingberg faked Quick to the ice, but couldn’t slip the puck by him.
Key play: Defenseman Jake Muzzin whistled a shot through traffic and past Toronto goaltender James Reimer less than three minutes into the third period and the Kings went on to take a 2-1 victory from the Maple Leafs on Thursday at Staples Center.
Pivotal performer: Center Vincent Lecavalier made his Kings debut a memorable one with an assist on Muzzin’s goal. Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn were acquired Wednesday from the Philadelphia Flyers and arrived Thursday morning in Los Angeles. Lecavalier played 9:26 in his first game with the Kings.
Quote, unquote: “It feels great,” Lecavalier said after his debut. “Honestly, it was just a good team effort tonight. The way they play, it’s just impressive. So, it was nice to be a part of today. Everybody worked really hard and it paid off. … Great bunch of guys. You can tell already. … Everything was on adrenaline tonight.”
Quote, unquote (part 2): “I just tried to soak a little bit in before the game and just tried to shake hands and get to know a few of the teammates,” Schenn said. “I’m not too familiar with a lot of the guys. It was kind of nice and you don’t over-think things. You just go out there and play.”
Welcome back: Kings center Jeff Carter returned to the lineup after sitting out for five games because of an upper-body injury and scored a third-period goal that made it 2-0. Carter was hurt on the opening faceoff of the Kings’ 4-3 overtime victory Dec. 26 over the Arizona Coyotes.
Game misconduct: Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak drew a five-minute boarding major and was ejected from the game after driving Kings winger Tyler Toffoli head-first into the boards at 19:26 of the first period. Toffoli was shaken up on the play, but returned to the game.
Key play: Defenseman Jake Muzzin scored the fourth of the Kings’ four second-period goals to lift them to a 5-3 victory Saturday afternoon over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Staples Center. The Penguins blanked the Kings in two games last season and it was scoreless after one period Saturday.
Pivotal performer: Muzzin scored a goal and added two assists in the second period, helping the Kings take a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes. Muzzin tied his career high with three points, his third three-point game. The last was Dec. 11, 2014 against the Ottawa Senators.
Pivotal (part 2): Left wing Chris Kunitz had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, helping them rally from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1to make it 4-3 with more than 17 minute remaining in regulation. Kunitz’s goal cut the Penguins’ deficit to 3-1 midway through the second period.
Quote, unquote: “We don’t get much respect in terms of our back end,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of the team’s defense corps, which contributed goals from Muzzin, Drew Doughty and Christian Ehrhoff. “Everyone talks about Drew and it goes down from there. It’s something even after last season, we felt we were in the top 10 in production from our defense, and that’s what we expect.”
Injury update: Kings forward Trevor Lewis couldn’t play Saturday after suffering an upper-body injury during Friday’s practice. Jordan Weal replaced Lewis as the Kings’ fourth-line center, making only his fourth appearance of the season.
The Kings really, really, really don’t like to talk about injuries or injured players. Here’s a Monday update, however:
Defensemen Matt Greene and Jake Muzzin suffered unspecified upper-body injuries during the Kings’ shootout victory Sunday over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. Neither finished the game and coach Darryl Sutter said Monday each was considered day-to-day.
It’s uncertain whether they can play in Tuesday’s home exhibition against the Ducks.
Sutter played only four defenseman for most of the final two periods plus overtime of a 2-1 victory, which resulted in 30 minutes, 18 seconds of ice time for Christian Ehrhoff and 27:52 for Drew Doughty. Sutter joked that he might try four defenseman again against the Ducks.