What we learned from Kings' 3-2 win over Lightning

What we learned from Kings' 3-2 win over Lightning
Kings forward Jordan Nolan, left, and goalie Jonathan Quick tap helmets after a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Staples Center on Monday. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It didn’t seem that long ago that some disgruntled Kings fans were talking about the lottery, thinking about the longest of long shots and maybe even mumbling the name Connor McDavid. Team Stretch Run, thy name is Kings. A few takeaways after the Kings’ fifth straight victory, a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

King for the day: Jordan Nolan


The man scoring the go-ahead goal against Tampa Bay on Monday in exciting fashion in the third period was not Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter or Marian Gaborik. It was Jordan Nolan, who took advantage of the space afforded him and delivered a highlight.

Up until Jan. 31, Nolan had scored once this season and now he has three goals in the last eight games.

"Kinger [Dwight King] had a lot of speed, so thought I'd join it and he dropped [the pass] and took a few bodies to the net with him and opened up a lane for me," Nolan said. "I put it to my backhand and it was fortunate enough to go in.

"I lifted up my head and just threw it on, hoping it would sneak through."

Jonathan Quick, the new Kipper

Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, fondly known as Kipper, was Darryl Sutter’s workhorse when Sutter coached in Calgary. It’s no secret that Kiprusoff remains a particular Sutter favorite.

Quick has played in 48 games this season. Seventy or bust, a la Kipper?

During this winning streak, Quick has put together a 2.20 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He has been in all five games, and in fact, the last sighting of his backup, Martin Jones, was more than a month ago, a 48-minute stint against the New Jersey Devils.

Kings continue the well-balanced scoring

At Monday’s morning skate, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty addressed the issue of balance during this winning run.

"The team, as a whole, is playing better," Doughty said. "We're getting production from our fourth line, our third line. Every single line is producing.

"Actually Kopi's line has produced the least amount of those lines the last couple games, which is always a good sign."

The well-balanced production was on display against the Lightning. There was a goal, finally, from No. 1 center Kopitar, who scored for the first time in 11 games. There was a goal from center Jeff Carter, via the second line, and another goal from fourth-line winger Nolan.