As the calendar year ended for the Kings, two characteristics continued to stand out going into the new year: Their best players come through on an almost nightly basis, as does their clutch play in the third period.
Here's what we learned:
This was one of the Kings' more balanced games of late.
All four lines rolled well and the Kings mostly got their checking game back in order. They wobbled some and Vancouver found easy ways into the Kings' end at times, but they took better care of the puck, as measured by just two giveaways.
"I thought for the most part, everybody contributed," said
The second line has chemistry.
The line of
Gaborik seemed to be energized, and he put a shot off the crossbar on a breakaway.
"I thought they really skated," Kings Coach John Stevens said. "I thought they played responsible. I think when they play a 200-foot game and they really get back and get on top of pucks, they end up with the puck more."
The power play got a nudge.
Stuck in a one-for-17 slump over the previous nine games with a man advantage, the Kings broke through on Gaborik's easy chip-in goal on a feed from Lewis, who saw brief time on the unit.