The Kings (16-6-4) tied a franchise record by gaining a point in 11 consecutive games when they pushed the San Jose Sharks to a shootout before falling Wednesday. They are 7-0-4 in their last 11, and according to team historian/radio play-by-play man Nick Nickson, have given up two goals or fewer during that span. They also have taken four straight games to OT or a shootout.
Goaltender Ben Scrivens has a 5-0-3 record and a 1.34 goals-against average with two shutouts, sparking the Kings since No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin strain Nov. 12 that’s expected to keep him out until Christmas. Top-line center Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists), and Mike Richards has 20 points (six goals, 14 assists).
The injury-riddled Flames fell to 8-13-4 with a 5-2 loss Friday to the Ducks in Anaheim. T.J. Galiardi (back) Mark Giordano (ankle), Curtis Glencross (knee), Sean Monahan (foot) and Dennis Wideman (hand) are not expected to play tonight for the Flames. Calgary found it impossible to contain the Ducks’ top offensive players, and the Flames won’t have it any easier tonight against the Kings.
At first glance, it seems Kings left wing Dustin Brown is playing his usual game. He leads the team with 94 hits in 25 games. He has 69 shots on goal and has played an average of 17 minutes, 25 seconds per game.
He simply isn’t producing goals and assists as he might in a normal season, however. Brown goes into Wednesday game against the Sharks in San Jose with nine points (four goals, five assists). That projects to only 30 points in 82 games, which would be his fewest since he had 28 points in 79 games in 2005-06. He had 29 points in 46 games during the lockout-shortened 48-game season in 2012-13. His career-best is 60 points in 78 games in 2007-08.
What’s troubling for the Kings is that Brown’s streak of 50 points or more in five consecutive full seasons is in serious jeopardy unless something changes dramatically the rest of the way.
The Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in overtime Monday to extend their points streak to 10 consecutive games (7-0-3), one shy of the franchise record set in 1973-74 and duplicated in 2010-11. Ben Scrivens made 37 saves as the Kings (16-6-3) rallied to win on Mike Richards’ tying goal late in the third and Anze Kopitar’s winning strike in OT. Scrivens is 5-0-3 since No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin injury that’s expected to keep him out until Christmas at the earliest. Jeff Carter returned to the Kings’ lineup Monday after sitting out 10 games because of a foot injury suffered during an OT victory over the Sharks on Oct. 30. Carter assisted on Richards’ goal, his sixth of the season. The Kings activated Carter from the injured-reserve list Monday and placed Quick on IR. Joe Thornton leads the Sharks (15-3-5) with 24 points, including 22 assists. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin, with 23 assists, has more than Thornton through Monday’s games. Kopitar leads the Kings with 23 points, including 16 assists.The Kings haven’t won in San Jose since posting a 4-0 shutout Dec.27, 2010.
The Kings rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory Monday night over the Canucks in Vancouver, B.C. Anze Kopitar scored the winner 48 seconds into the five-minute overtime and Ben Scrivens made 37 saves to extend the Kings’ streak of recording at least one point to 10 consecutive games (7-0-3). Mike Richards scored the tying goal late in the third period and Kyle Clifford also scored for the Kings (16-6-3). Here are three more takeaways from Monday’s victory:
1. Scrivens continues to amaze. The Kings haven’t lost in regulation play since he took over for an injured Jonathan Quick late in OT of what became a shootout loss Nov. 12 to the Buffalo Sabres. The loss of Quick could have sent the Kings reeling, but Scrivens has stepped in and there has been zero drop off in the Kings’ play in net. Scrivens could be due for a night off soon, with rookie Martin Jones making his NHL debut. Then again, maybe Darryl Sutter will stick with Scrivens until Quick returns from a groin injury that’s expected to sideline him until Christmas.
2. Kopitar continues to amaze. With forward Jeff Carter sidelined for most of the month but a foot injury, Kopitar has regained his scoring touch. His OT goal against the Canucks was his seventh of the season and his second in OT. He leads the Kings with 23 points, including 16 assists. His long scoring drought to end last season and to begin this one are largely forgotten.
3. The Kings continue to amaze. The Kings haven’t dropped a game in regulation time since falling to the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Nov. 2 at Staples Center. Putting them away has been next to impossible since then, with their only three defeats coming in a shootout loss to Buffalo (when Scrivens had the impossible task of entering the game with 1:20 left in OT after Quick was hurt), then an OT loss to Jaromir Jagr and the New Jersey Devils followed by an OT defeat to the Colorado Avalanche. If you’re scoring at home, the Kings have secured 17 out of a possible 20 points in their last 10 games. That’s just what’s been needed to keep the Kings in the thick of the hyper-competitive Western Conference race.
New Canadian TV deal worth billions won’t mean much in Southern California, but it will make the league richer. Here’s a link to an AP story: http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/10039087/nhl-rogers-communications-reach-52-billion-canadian-tv-deal
The Kings announced Monday afternoon on their web site they activated forward Jeff Carter from injured reserve and placed goalie Jonathan Quick on IR. Carter injured his foot Oct. 30. Quick strained his groin in a Nov. 12 game against the Buffalo Sabres and is expected to be sidelined until Christmas.
Ten former NHL players, including ex-Kings center Warren Holmes, sued the league Monday over concussions. Here’s the text of the complaint: http://melowens.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/NHL-Concussion-Litigation-Complaint-filed
Jeff Carter hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in the Kings’ overtime victory Oct. 30 over the San Jose Sharks. Reporters in Vancouver posted blog items indicating it was possible Carter could be back in the Kings’ lineup for Monday’s game against the Canucks. He was expected to skate with Mike Richards and Dwight King. The Kings must activate Carter from injured reserve, however, and make a corresponding move to make room for him on their 23-man roster.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is expected to be sidelined by a groin strain until Christmas at the earliest, would be the likely candidate to be put on IR.
The Kings are the 10th-most valuable NHL franchise at $450 million, according to the latest rankings by Forbes. The club’s value increased by 63 percent over last season.The franchise posted $98 million in revenue and $8.2 million in operating income. Kings owner Philip Anschutz purchased the team for $113 million in 1995.
The Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.15 billion) were the league’s most valuable team, followed by the New York Rangers ($850 million) and the Montreal Canadiens ($775 million). The Ducks, the Kings’ rivals for dollars among Southern California hockey fans, were ranked 21st in the 30-team league with a value of $300 million, up 56 percent over 2012..
The Kings (15-6-3) have lost two in a row in overtime, but have gained at least one point in nine consecutive games (6-0-3). Goaltender Ben Scrivens is 4-0-2 in six starts since replacing the Kings’ No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick, who suffered a groin strain Nov. 12 that might keep him out until Christmas at the earliest. Scrivens also has a 1.15 goals-against average, a .955 save percentage and two shutouts in his last six games. All is not rosy in the Kings’ world, however. They have scored only one goal in the last 125:02, having been beaten 1-0 in OT on Saturday by the Colorado Avalanche and 2-1 in extra time Thursday by the New Jersey Devils. Injured forwards Jeff Carter (foot), Matt Frattin (lower body) and Trevor Lewis (lower body) will not play in tonight’s game against the Canucks (12-9-4) in Vancouver or in Wednesday’s contest against the Sharks in San Jose. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 22 points (six goals, 16 assists). Henrik Sedin leads the Canucks with 24 points (six goals, 18 assists).