The Kings continued their superb play with a 6-0 beatdown of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Six different players scored for the Kings (20-7-4) and rookie goaltender Martin Jones recorded his second consecutive shutout in only his third NHL game. So, far Jones is 3-0-0, having given up only two goals in a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks. The Kings’ power play finally clicked, ending a streak of eight-plus games without a man-advantage goal. Montreal was dominant in the first period, but couldn’t crack Jones and was well-beaten by night’s end.
Here are three things about the game:
1. Jones benefited from the Kings’ customary suffocating defensive play during a 3-0 shutout of the New York Islanders on Saturday, but he was on his own at times during the first period Tuesday against the Canadiens. Jones stopped 17 shots in the pivotal first period, looking very poised in the face of unrelenting pressure. He made seven saves during one early Montreal power play. The Kings’ 2-0 lead eased his burden, though, and the Canadiens cracked in the second period, firing only three shots at Jones in the period. Jonathan Quick’s absence because of a groin strain could have proved disastrous for the Kings, but Jones and Ben Scrivens have seized the opportunity and made the most of it.
2. The Kings’ slump without a power-play goal reached 34 chances in a row, dating to Nov. 19, before defenseman Jake Muzzin scored with the man-advantage in the second period. Muzzin’s goal was part of a four-goal flurry that broke open the game. In the end, it would seem the Kings have too many good offensive players, including defensemen Muzzin, Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov, to have a poor power play for an extended period.
3. The Kings are a bad matchup for a good many teams around the league, and the Canadiens were no exception. Montreal has a small, but fast team. In the past, that combination might have provided the Kings with a challenge, but not Tuesday. Once the physical Kings weathered the Canadiens’ opening surge, they took control and seemed to be playing keep-away for much of the final two periods.