Here’s what Kings coach Darryl Sutter had to say after the Minnesota Wild rallied in the third period for a 3-2 victory Monday night: “We were better in the third (period) than we were in the first. We turned a lot of pucks over in the neutral zone. It had nothing to do with the third period, it was all the first period.”
Sure, the Kings held a 1-0 lead in the first period and were outscored 2-0 in the third, but Sutter didn’t like the way their sloppy play led to chances for the Wild in the opening 20 minutes. He also didn’t like how that set the tone for what followed. He wasn’t happy with the final result, but the game wasn’t won or lost in the third.
That was his story and he was sticking to it Monday.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in the Kings’ 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon over the Carolina Hurricanes at Staples Center, his second start since returning from his stint with Team USA in Sochi, Russia. Then he offered his views on the team’s play in three games since ending the Olympic break.
“We’ve played well,” Quick said of the Kings’ three-game winning streak since the end of the break. “We played a really good road game against Calgary. I know we would have liked to have played better against Colorado, but we found a way to get a win. We played a good game (against Carolina). We have only 20 games or so left (actually, there are exactly 20 regular-season games remaining for the Kings). It’s very tight. Every game is important right now.
“We’ve got to bring our best every night.”
Next for the Kings: the Montreal Canadiens on Monday at Staples Center.
Kings forward Mike Richards skated through his 21st consecutive game without scoring a goal. He did have an assist on Drew Doughty’s power-play goal, the Kings’ lone score in a 3-1 loss Saturday to the Detroit Red Wings. He also had eight shots on goal and played 22 shifts over 16 minutes, 46 seconds. He hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 25 against the Vancouver Canucks, however.
“He played a good game tonight,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Richards, who has 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) in 46 games. “It was probably his best game, with the most opportunities he’s had in 21 games.”
The Kings knocked the ice off their sticks, chipped away any lingering snow and went to work torching the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at Staples Center. The Kings’ offensive thaw was swift and certain and maybe a little unexpected, too.
The Kings scored four times in their 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, the most they’ve scored since beating the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Dec. 19. Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, Alec Martinez and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings. Martinez became the first Kings defenseman to score a goal since he had the first one during their aforementioned win over the Sharks, ending an eight-game streak.
Talk about an Arctic vortex The Kings’ sticks turned into icicles recently.
Here’s Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s response when asked if he was well rested for his return to action after sitting out for 24 games because of a groin injury: “I had two months rest, I’m … rested.”
Jeff Carter isn’t the most talkative player in the Kings’ dressing room. He often skips out before speaking to reporters. It’s not that he’s a bad quote or anything, but he simply avoids the crush of tape records and video cameras more often than not. That changed after he scored two goals in the Kings’ streak-busting 3-1 victory Saturday over the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center.
Here’s a sample of his postgame comments:
“I gave him (linemate Dwight King) a yell and he made a heck of a play there (passing the puck for the go-ahead goal). That’s what he’s been doing lately for us. He’s an unbelievable player when he skates like that and uses his size. He’s got more skill than people think. I gave him one yell and he looked up.”
“We had some chances in St. Louis (a 5-0 loss Thursday). I should have had two goals. Hit a post and got robbed on another one. … We kept working. We know we have to keep working and battling and things are going to come around.”
Here’s what Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins had to say after Kings rookie Martin Jones stopped 24 shots to record his sixth straight victory (and third shutout) to begin his NHL career: “It turns into math. The more chances you get, the sooner or later, they going to go in. That young man was good. Maybe we just should have ran him the first shift and got it over with. That’s a good goalie they have.”