Reminder: Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center will begin at 7 p.m. to accommodate the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
Meanwhile, Kings goaltender Martin Jones was named the NHL’s co-Rookie of the Month for December, sharing the honor with Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta. Jones was 8-2-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage plus three shutouts in 10 starts for the Kings, who have been without No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick since Nov. 12. Quick has a groin strain and his return to the lineup remains uncertain. Meanwhile, the Kings (25-13-4) have lost five consecutive games for the first time since December 2011. The skid dropped the Kings into third place in the hyper-competitive Pacific Division, only one point ahead of the fourth-place Canucks (23-12-7).
The Kings’ troubles have been two-fold. First, they are taking too many penalties and, second, they aren’t scoring enough goals. The Kings were the NHL’s second-most penalized team as of Friday morning, with 166 shorthanded chances in 42 games. Only the Ottawa Senators with 171 shorthanded chances in 43 games were on the penalty-kill more often than the Kings. As for scoring, the Kings had only 110 goals and were tied for fifth in scoring in the Pacific. Only the Calgary Flames had scored fewer goals than the Kings, with 96 as of Friday, within the division.