Streaking Kings look to make memories, progress

Dustin Brown doesn’t recall much about the only nine-game winning streak in the Kings’ history, a run that began on Jan. 21, 2010, and extended through Feb. 6 of that year.

The Kings can match that club record Thursday night with a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center.

“The one game I remember in that streak was in Jersey. We were down I think 2-0, and Zeus scored a goal late in the second and then we scored a goal with a minute left and Dewy scored with like 10 seconds left,” Brown said, referring to teammates Michal Handzus and Drew Doughty.

“So we pulled a game out where we didn’t play very well. Got two late goals to win. I think that was Game 5 of the win streak. Maybe Game 6. That’s the only game I remember playing in, and partly because of how we won.”

The Times' report on that game proves that Brown’s memory was pretty good.

The Kings went on to rack up 101 points that season and make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They lost a six-game, first-round series to the Vancouver Canucks.

Their nine-game winning streak that season included two shootout victories, while all but one win in their current streak — the Feb. 6 overtime triumph against Columbus — have been recorded in regulation. That’s important because it means the Kings have avoided conceding the extra point a rival would earn in overtime or a shootout and have helped themselves in the standings.

“Three-point games in the West are pretty common,” Brown said.

The Kings’ longest winning streak during their 2011-12 Stanley Cup championship season was six, from March 11 through March 22. But the way they’re playing now is reminiscent of how they lifted their play down the stretch just to get into those 2012 playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the West.

“I think it’s similar. We kind of went through a bad spell where we weren’t playing well, weren’t playing good as a team. And we turned it on at the end of the year,” Doughty said. “Right now, we’ve obviously turned it on but we’ve still got a long ways to go before playoffs start.

“You really want to be going in on a good note going into the playoffs. You want to be on a winning streak, so I do see the similarities. I do think our team is just as good as, if not better than, that team we had back then. I think we’ve got a good shot. If we get a good spot in the playoffs, I don’t think too many teams will want to play us in the first, second or third round.”

How are the Kings better than they were in 2012?

“We have some new additions. Guys are older. Guys have experience now. I think just overall we’re a better team,” Doughty said.

“We’re closer off the ice. On the ice, I think our partners are set, our lines are kind of set. We’re jelling at the right time. I think experience has the biggest thing to do with it. We’ve experienced three rounds of the playoffs for the last two years and we know what to do and what to expect.”

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