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:
The Kings haven’t scored a power-play goal since defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 19. They finished that game by misfiring on three man-advantage chances and then followed it up by going ofer for the next eight games. Overall, they are on an 0-for-33 slide. They are 17 for 112 this season (15.2 percent), which ranked them 23rd in a 30-team league. So, what’s wrong?
The Kings re-assigned defenseman Jeff Schultz to their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H. Schultz did not play with the Kings, who recalled him last week. He has played in 23 games for the Monarchs this season, scoring two points (one goal, one assist). The move clears the way for Matt Greene’s return from injured reserve. Greene has been sidelined by an upper-body injury.
Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin seem like a defense pairing built to last, a union of two offensive threats. Or is it?
“Evaluate it every game,” coach Darryl Sutter said Friday, the day before the Kings played host to the New York Islanders at Staples Center. “Quite honest, when we went into Anaheim the other day, the last time Jake played in Anaheim, he was (poor), so don’t think I didn’t talk to him about it. Because you’re evaluated at the end of every game. Because at the end of the day … we’re not that far from Jake Muzzin being a healthy scratch. Not that far removed. He’s a young guy and we’re looking for consistency.”
Jonathan Quick walked past Kings coach Darryl Sutter and a group of reporters Friday. Quick nodding at Sutter as he left the Kings’ training facility. He was bundled up against the 55-degree weather in El Segundo, with a jacket and a ballcap. There was no sign of a limp as the walked past.
“There’s no timetable,” Sutter said of Quick’s possible return from a groin strain that’s sidelined him for 11 consecutive games.
The original estimate was Quick would be sidelined from six to eight weeks, which would mean he could be back by Christmas at the earliest.
From the now it can be told dept: defenseman Drew Doughty said he lobbied Kings coach Darryl Sutter to join a shootout, but his plea fell on deaf ears until Tuesday. Sutter finally gave Doughty a chance as the fifth shooter in an nine-round shootout decided by the Kings’ Dwight King. Doughty’s try was saved by the Ducks’ Jonas Hiller, but he was happy with his effort.
Veteran defenseman Matt Greene participated in Thursday’s non-contact practice, but there’s still no timetable for his return to the Kings’ lineup from an upper-body injury. He remains on the injured-reserve list and it certainly seemed unlikely he could play in Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders.
“Feel good. I feel good now,” Greene said. “You can’t replicate skating. The first couple of days are always tough. It’s good though. Coaches get out there and pound you for the first couple of days. It’s no fun, but it’s good. I think I’m getting closer (but) I don’t think you can put a date on it yet.
“But I think I’m getting closer. I’m getting more comfortable.”
Greene sat out all but five regular-season games last season after undergoing back surgery. This latest injury is unrelated to his back troubles.
Martin Jones went back to work Thursday morning in El Segundo, which was to say, he stayed on the ice longer than most of his Kings teammates. In other words, he resumed his duties as the Kings’ fill-in backup goaltender a little less than 48 hours after an unforgettable NHL debut.
Our friends at Fox Sports West have put together a package of several of the greatest games between the Kings and the Ducks, leading up to the Jan. 25 game between the rivals at Dodger Stadium. The first one aired last night and featured the teams wearing their pajamas. Missed it? The third-jersey madness from Jan. 27, 1996 will re-air on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. Here are the other games:
To be shown Dec. 12
5 p.m. From Jan. 30, 2006, Teemu Selanne scores his 1,00th point.
7 p.m. From Oct. 6, 2006, Anze Kopitar scores his first NHL goal.
9 p.m. From Dec. 2, 1993, the first game between the teams (re-airs Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
To be shown Jan. 22
7:30 p.m. From Jan. 22, 2003, Paul Kariya rallies the Ducks with two goals, two assists.
The Kings and the Ducks unveiled their uniforms for their Dodger Stadium showdown Jan. 25. Here’s the Kings sweater, as modeled by captain Dustin Brown: http://kings.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=40788 Here’s the Ducks sweater, as modeled by captain Ryan Getzlaf: http://ducks.nhl.com/index.html