The Kings signed physical forward Kyle Clifford to a five-year contract extension worth an average of $1.6 million per season. Clifford, 24, has 58 points and 462 penalty minutes in 333 games in the NHL. He has 10 points, including three goals, and 66 penalty minutes in 57 games this season. Clifford assisted on Alec Martinez’s Stanley Cup-winning goal in Game 5 of the Final last June. He is the second Kings forward in two days to sign an extension following Jordan Nolan, who signed a new three-season deal worth an average of $950,000.
Jonathan Quick made 20 saves in the Kings’ 1-0 victory Tuesday over the Detroit Red Wings at Staples Center for his fourth shutout of the season and the 35th of his stellar career. He and the Kings won for the eighth consecutive game. His longest winning streak is nine games set in 2009-10. His goals-against average is 1.63 during his streak, and his save percentage is .940.
“It just feels like some nights you see the saves he makes and you think he isn’t going to let anyone score tonight,” Kings winger Justin Williams said of Quick’s play. “He’s been a rock throughout this win streak, and he will continue to be.”
Here’s some of what Kings forward Jordan Nolan said about his new three-year contract extension after the morning skate Tuesday in El Segundo:
“My agent called me a few days ago and said there was an opportunity to maybe take care of some paperwork and get locked up for a few years, so I sai, ‘All right, sounds good.’ Two days later, I got a call and he said, ‘We’re all set.’ There’s no easy contracts, but definitely a lot quicker than the first one I got. …
“Any time you feel wanted in the organization, it gets your confidence up there. I spent a lot of time in Manchester (in the AHL) in development with the coaches and he (general manager Dean Lombardi) shows a lot of confidence in me, so to give me that three-year deal definitely makes me feel good.”
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi continued to reward his players with contract extensions. Tuesday, he inked Jordan Nolan to a three-season deal with an AAV of $950,000. Nolan, a 25-year-old forward, has only 24 points in 170 career games in the NHL. He was a member of the Kings’ Stanley Cup championship teams in 2012 and ’14, however. Lombardi has been generous in giving extensions to his players, with Marian Gaborik receiving a new seven-year deal and Matt Greene getting a four-year contract during the last offseason.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage in three victories last week, earning the NHL’s first star honors. He made 31 saves in the Kings’ victory Saturday over the San Jose Sharks in the Stadium Series game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The Kings (28-18-12, third in the Pacific) have won seven consecutive games and moved into a playoff position. Improved goaltending and defensive play have been the keys to the Kings’ surge. Quick’s goals-against average during the streak is 1.86 and his save percentage is .934. Overall, he is 24-15-10 with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 50 games.
Here’s what Kings captain Dustin Brown had to say after playing in a second Stadium Series game in as many seasons: “Two is enough for me. It’s a lot of buildup and there’s a lot that goes into it. It’s an exciting game, but I think our personality, with the group of guys in here, we’re pretty low key and this is the other end of the spectrum.”
The Kings’ Drew Doughty played 32 minutes, 1 second during their 2-1 victory in a Stadium Series game Saturday at Levi’s Stadium, a record for the most minutes in an outdoor game. It’s likely to last only as long as it’ll take for Ryan Suter to make his outdoor debut next season for the Minnesota Wild.
Here’s what Kings forward Marian Gaborik said about adjusting his style of play to fit his more defensive-oriented teammates: “Yeah, I had to adjust a little bit, to buy into the system, play on the right side of the puck and make sure to play in the game and do my responsibilities as well. So, I think we’re rolling very good as a team right now, and I just have to keep it up.”
Here’s what Kings captain Dustin Brown said about Gaborik’s play: “I think we all understand what he was brought here to do, and that’s score big goals, and that’s what we expect of him. It’s the time when he’s not scoring big goals that we need him to play Kings hockey and tonight he came through for us huge. … I think it’s a work in progress.”
The Kings’ Marian Gaborik scored the winning goal in their 2-1 victory Saturday over the San Jose Sharks. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and not only because of the way he ripped his shot past the Sharks’ Antti Niemi and into the net in the opening minutes of the third period. Gabork has been something of a forgotten man this season, after leading the Kings in goals during the playoffs last spring.
“He’s pretty quiet, he’s pretty quiet, and then he has a goal like that,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said of Gaborik, who scored his 17th of the season. “That’s the type of game-breaker he is.”