A handful of extra thoughts after the Kings recorded back-to-back preseason wins over the Anaheim Ducks. In their most-recent victory – on Sunday – the Kings did not need a shootout this time to get it done, beating the Ducks, 4-2, at Honda Center.
Goalie Martin Jones keeps improving
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter had to slightly alter his plans in the preseason, giving Jones full games, rather than splitting the playing time. He has said that Jones will be a factor early in the season, especially with No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick coming off wrist surgery in the summer.
Jones was especially sharp on Sunday. One statement came on a breakaway by Ducks’ Dany Heatley in the first period, a terrific right leg save by Jones.
“There’s definitely stuff to clean up,” Jones said. “It’s been awhile since I played a full game, dating back to the regular season last year. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, so I want to get my timing back.”
Penalty-killing unit turns in flawless performance
Even Sutter was pleased with the penalty-killing effort, in particular, the Kings killing off a prolonged two-man advantage in the second period for 1:26.
In all, the Ducks had two five-on-three advantages and went 0 for 6 on the power play.
Sutter singled out defenseman Robyn Regehr and center Mike Richards for their penalty-killing work on Sunday. Regehr logged five minutes and five seconds (shorthanded) and 23:09, in all. For the Kings, defenseman Slava Voynov, again, logged big minutes. He led all players in ice time, at 27:43, and of that, 4:23 was shorthanded.
The history of Jeff Carter is that he scores goals in bunches and in an efficient manner.
He had five shots on goal against the Ducks and scored three times, once in the first period, another in the second and completed the hat trick in the third.
Carter’s previous hat trick occurred in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final in May against the Chicago Blackhawks on his way to a four-point effort.
He has benefited from the move back to center and the speed and youth of his line-mates, left wing Tanner Pearson and right wing Tyler Toffoli. Pearson and Toffoli both had two assists in the win over the Ducks on Sunday.
Carter took note of their maturation.
“They’ve obviously gained a lot of confidence in the playoffs,” he said. “They both played great for us. They worked hard this summer to make sure they were ready to go this year. … It’s been showing.”