Thursday night, before a sellout crowd of 18,118 at STAPLES Center, the Kings extended their home win streak to 7 by beating the Dallas Stars 3-1 in a gritty, physical battle. In total the teams combined for 91 penalty minutes that included four fights.
In the first period, Dallas winging James Neal hit Kings second-line center Jarret Stoll, dropping Stoll to his knees. Kings defenseman, and alternate captain, Matt Greene immediately retaliated by dropped his gloves and pounced on Neal and receiving a two minute penalty for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a ten minute misconduct.
The Kings would kill that power play, along with four others that night, improving their penalty-kill to 49 of 52 on the season. They’ve also killed 19 straight man-advantage situations by their opponents in route to a league best 91.5% penalty kill.
After a Dustin Brown goal in the first and a defensive blunder by Drew Doughty leading to a goal by Jamie Benn and a scoreless second period, Justin Williams would brake a third-period tie with power play goal. Jack Johnson would add his first of the season 17:12 into the third period. Goaltender Jonathan Quick stealer once again, with 27 saves, as he improved his record to 9-1-1 this season.
The Kings have outscored their opponents 16-8 in the third period this season, fueling their strong start this season. With five straight wins and seven of eight overall, the Kings 11-3-0 has 22 points in 14 games to match the 1974-75 club. The Kings’ perfect home start matches the 1975-76 and 1980-81 clubs’ record.
Though the Kings strong start to this season is something to praise, with the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadians and the Stanley Cup defending Chicago Blackhawks waiting for us right around the corner, the real test is still to come.
The Kings have big expectations this season. After being eliminated in the first round by the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs last season, they gained experience and stacked their defense in hopes of moving further this year.
Three Stars of the Game:
1st: Jonathan Quick
2nd: Jamie Benn
3rd: Jack Johnson