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.”
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:
Michael Cammalleri’s goal with 23 seconds remaining in the game gave the Calgary Flames a 2-1 victory Saturday over the Kings at Staples Center, a game that turned on several pivotal moments. The Kings had their chances, but not enough of them to win the game, extend their points streak to 12 in a row or to please defenseman Drew Doughty. Here are his three things about Saturday’s loss.
1. Of the power play in general, Doughty said, “Our best players on the ice are always on the power play and those are opportunities we need to step up for our team, and we need to score goals. We haven’t been doing that. It’s about time we did. We need to move bodies. We need to get more shots. We need to get those screens and we need to get those rebounds. I can’t remember the last time we got a rebound goal. We need to be doing that. That’s how you score goals in the NHL. Goalies are too good these days. If you’re shooting the puck on them without a screen or a rebound, they’re going to save the puck. It’s shots and rebounds.”
2. Of the Kings’ inability to score against the Flames, especially early in the game, Doughty said, “We were getting through the neutral zone fairly easily. We were creating chances on the rush. We were getting in there. When we get in there, we need to be creating more chances by cycling the puck, by getting to the net, getting screens, getting shots. I think we had only maybe 10 shots in the first period (actually, the Kings outshot the Flames 7-5 in the first period and 22-20 for the game), and we should have had way more than that with the possession time we had. It gets us into trouble when we can’t score goals.”
3. Of the notion that the Kings might have taken the Flames lightly, Doughty said, “I don’t know. I don’t that that is a reason why we didn’t play well. Maybe it is. It’s all about preparation. When you’re going into a game against a team that’s down at the bottom of the standings, you can’t take them lightly. You need to relish that opportunity. You need to make it a must-win game. It’s the second time we’ve just let them stay around for the whole game. They didn’t outplay us and then they scored a late goal. It’s cost us twice. That’s valuable points we need because right now the standings are so tight. We need to be winning games.”