Indoors and outdoors. Home and road. The Kings are winning low-scoring games and higher-scoring games. It all adds up to an eight-game winning streak, and there were a few takeaways from the Kings’ 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Special teams stayed special
The Red Wings were frustrated by the Kings’ penalty-killing prowess, and they are hardly the only ones. The Kings have killed off their last 20 penalties, dating back to the second period against the Calgary Flames on Feb. 12.
Detroit went 0 for 5 against the Kings, whose only goal came on the power play.
“The PK was great,” said Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. “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 says a lot about our group.
“We took away their time and space.”
Said Detroit Coach Mike Babcock: “They were real good. They kept us on the walls. We got a couple of chances but our best one was with Gus [Nyquist], but we were unable to capitalize on it.”
Quick, again, is adept at handling heavy workload
Quick recorded his fourth shutout of the season and the 35th of his career. He has been the consistent force during the Kings’ eight-game winning streak, in goal for all eight of those victories.
In fact, the last time backup Martin Jones got any playing time at all was more than a month ago, on Jan. 14 against the New Jersey Devils. Jones might reappear on Thursday against Ottawa or against the Ducks on Friday. Quick was named the league’s No. 1 star for the week on Monday.
“It just feels like some nights, you look at [Quick], and you look at the saves he makes and you think, he’s not letting anyone score tonight,” said Kings right wing Justin Williams, who had the only goal on Tuesday.
“He’s been a rock certainly throughout this winning streak and he’ll continue to be.”
Long climb back gets Kings into playoff race
One of the lower points of the season has been the late stumble in a 3-2 loss to Florida on Feb. 5. Heading into that game, the Kings were five points out of a wild-card playoff spot.
They haven’t lost since then and are now in third place in the Pacific Division, jumping past the likes of Calgary and San Jose and trail the second-place Vancouver Canucks by three points.
“You win, you win two, you feel a little bit more confident again,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said. “We knew just because we were in the position we were before, a streak like this would pull us out of that hole.
“Now we broke even, but now we’ve got to keep going like this.”