The Kings decided they liked winning so much they might as well keep doing it. Their hot-streak at the end of January carried into February with a victory over the visiting New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
The Kings added to their perfect road trip with a 2-1 win at home. Anze Kopitar continued his hot streak with a shorthanded goal in the second period. Ryan Smyth tallied what would be the game winner midway through the third period.
The Rangers primary offensive weapon Marian Gaborik managed the only goal for the squad. Gaborik's 34 goals this season account for 23% of the Rangers offense so far. Each team registered just 21 shots on goal, but it was the Swedish star Henrik Lunqvist that gave up 2 on Tuesday. Quick was strong in goal for the Kings yet again in his 32nd win this season.
The new Rangers had a rough night in Los Angeles. Brandon Prust chalked up a whopping 19 PIMs while Olli Jokinen was on the ice for both Los Angeles goals, finishing a minus-2.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the new Toronto Maple Leafs had an amazing night. Dion Phaneuf was a hitting machine, Fredrik Sjostrom tallied an assist and was strong on the penalty kill, and J.S. Giguere became only the second Leaf in history to register a shutout in his debut with the team. The three new Leafs were also the Three Stars of the game. Talk about winning over your new team.
Back to Los Angeles, the Kings continued to hold their ground in the Western Conference standings. The win gives the Kings 71 points in 56 games. The last season the Kings managed 79 points in 82 games. The season before that? 71 points in 82 games. My calculator tells me that's the same amount of points in 26 less games.
The Kings take on freeway rival Anaheim at Staples Center on Thursday night. The game will be the second of back to back games for Anaheim, the first on Wednesday against Detroit.
Will there be a new King in uniform on Thursday night? Or will the trade watching continue for Kings fans?
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney