The Kings have won five consecutive games at home going into Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. Their last loss on home ice was to the Stars on March 7, when Jaromir Jagr and Jamie Benn overpowered them late in the game. The 41-year-old Jagr has a team-leading 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) for the Stars, and Benn has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists). The Stars are 13-13-3 and in 11th place in the Western Conference standings. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings (17-10-2, fourth in the West) with 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists). Jeff Carter has a team-leading 18 goals. The Kings have won three in a row to start a five-game homestand.
The Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes met Tuesday for the second consecutive night and the third time in eight days, a quirk of the NHL lockout schedule. The Kings lost the first game last Tuesday in Arizona 5-2 and then blanked the Coyotes 4-0 on Monday at Staples Center.
The Kings and Phoenix met Monday night at Staples Center for the second time in less than a week, with the Coyotes winning last Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz. The teams play again Tuesday at Staples Center, completing a stretch in which the Kings faced only two opponents in five games.
The Kings complete their two-game trip with their first game of the lockout-shortened season against the Sharks on Thursday night in San Jose. The Kings (14-9-2) are fifth in the Western Conference standings and the Sharks (11-8-6) are 10th. They are separated by only two points, however. Jeff Carter leads the Kings with 17 goals and Anze Kopitar has a team-leading 15 assists. Patrick Marleau has 13 goals for the Sharks and Joe Thornton had a club-high 20 assists. The teams play again Saturday at Staples Center. The Kings are 9-2-1 at home, but only 5-7-1 on the road. They began their trip with a 5-2 loss Tuesday to the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
The Kings could move into fourth place in the Western Conference standings with a victory Monday over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center. Actually, they could have the third-most points but they could be no higher than fourth because the top teams in each division automatically get the three top spots for playoff seeding purposes. As for the Flames, well, their season was up for grabs but they didn’t play with much sense of desperation. There was no scoring in the second period, but Dustin Penner had two glorious chances to extend the Kings’ advantage. He failed to click after Mike Richards sent a cross-ice pass to him on the rush. He also missed an open net after Jeff Carter set him up a little later in the middle period.
Six different Kings scored goals during a 6-2 rout of the defenseless Calgary Flames on Saturday night at Staples Center. Two had three points apiece in the team’s eighth victory in its last 10 games. The goaltender needed to make only 17 saves in a bounce-back performance.
The good times came to a screeching halt when the Kings lost to the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Thursday, with coach Darryl Sutter unhappy with their goaltending and defensive play. The Kings had won six in a row at Staples Center before falling with a thud to the Stars.
The Kings took an all-too-brief 2-1 over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at Staples Center thanks to Jeff Carter’s 12th goal in as many games, an even-strength strike that banked into the net off a defender’s skate. The Stars countered with Cody Eakin’s power-play goal on a nifty backhander that caught Kings goalie Jonathan Quick by surprise. The Kings outshot the Stars 21-14 going into the third period, but the game was every bit as even as the score would indicate.
In the final analysis, the Kings’ 6-4 victory Tuesday night over the St. Louis Blues wasn’t the finest hockey game ever contested in the long and occasionally compelling history of the NHL. But it sure had a little something for everyone at Staples Center.
The Kings and Jeff Carter are officially scalding. The team has won six of its last seven games and eight of 10, with Carter sparking a once-dormant offense with eight goals in his last seven games. He had his fifth career hat trick in a 5-1 home victory Monday over the Nashville Predators.