LOS ANGELES – The Kings extended their win streak to eight games Tuesday evening with a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings at STAPLES Center.
With the win, the Kings also snapped a four-game losing streak to the Red Wings, while holding onto the Pacific Division’s third and final playoff berth.
The night’s lone goal came just over two minutes into the contest, and it was enough for the Kings to pocket two points, thanks to Jonathan Quick’s fourth shutout of the season, and the 35th of his career. Quick’s shutout Tuesday night was the 200th in franchise history.
“Obviously we liked our game,” Darryl Sutter noted. “We won and what we’re trying to do is win games, so I liked that. The power play scored a big goal early to give us the early lead.”
That power play goal came just 2:24 minutes into the game when Jake Muzzin’s point shot found its way through traffic; but not before it caromed off the skate of Anze Kopitar, and then again changed direction when Justin Williams got a piece of the shot just before it got to Detroit’s Jonas Gustavsson.
Although that’s all the offense the game provided, it was the Kings’ defensive efforts that ultimately brought home the win. The Kings killed off all five of the Red Wings’ power play opportunities; Detroit came into the night with the league’s best power play unit, and the Kings gave them nothing to work with.
“The PK was great,” Jonathan Quick said following the game. “They have one of the top power plays in the league, and we really cut down their chances. They had about four or five power plays, so that really says a lot about our group. We took away time and space, we were good up-ice, and we were good through the neutral zone.”
During the Kings’ eight-game win streak, all of which Jonathan Quick has started, the Kings’ netminder has posted an 8-0-0 record with a .940 SV% and a 1.63 GAA. Quick denied the Red Wing’s best scoring opportunity of the evening in the opening moments of the third period, gloving a Gustav Nyquist shot from the heart of the slot.
The Kings have climbed the standings and have found themselves in a playoff spot during the majority of the past week. The Kings will face the Ottawa Senators Thursday night before hitting the road; a team that has won three of it’s past four games, scoring 18 goals during that span.
“We’re climbing, but we certainly aren’t where we want to be yet,” Justin Williams noted following the win. “We are in the top eight, and that’s a start. The thing is, when things are going well, you want to keep them going well. You have to work harder to keep them going well.”
Justin Williams (1G), Anze Kopitar (1A), and Jake Muzzin (1A) led all Kings players in points scored (1), Marian Gaborik and Tyler Toffoli in shots taken (4), Robyn Regehr in hits delivered (6), Matt Greene and Robyn Regehr in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (28:28). Jonathan Quick stopped all 20 shots he faced in the win.
With the win, the Kings’ record improves to 29-18-12; their mark on home ice at STAPLES Center improves to 20-6-6. The Kings have now won eight straight games, and will play one more game at home before venturing out on a three-game road trip on Friday. The Kings will host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night at STAPLES Center; the puck is slated to drop at 7:30PM PT.