It was an ugly win, but the LA Kings won their sixth consecutive game on Wednesday evening with a big effort from Cal Petersen.
Outstanding goaltending, superb defense, and timely goals. That has been the theme during the LA Kings recent six-game win streak, including a nail-biting 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday evening. It was by no means a pretty win. In fact, it was fairly ugly as the Kings were mostly outplayed in the first period.
Just over halfway through the first period, Dustin Brown carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the Blues defensive zone, firing a shot on Jordan Binnington. The puck bounced off the Blues’ netminder and initially looked like Alex Iafallo put the puck home for his third goal in the last four games.
However, the goal was later credited for Brown, his 11th of the year.
And in his third game back from the NHL’s COVID protocol list, Andreas Athanasiou tallied his fourth goal of the year and his first since the third game – an absolute rocket to give the LA Kings a 2-0 lead late in the second period.
Not long into the third period, Sean Walker fired a puck up ice that bounced off the boards and hit Marco Scandella in the face. There was plenty of blood on the ice, but Scandella gave the thumbs-up sign as he skated off under his own power.
And in one of the strangest sequences, Tobias Bjornfot was called for a delayed hooking penalty, but the Blues held the puck for an astounding three and a half minutes. They failed to score on the 6-on-5 advantage, with the Kings finally gaining possession with 4:02 left in the game.
There were some pretty funny jokes on Twitter for how long the referee’s arms must have been in the air.
The Kings killed off the penalty, largely facing a 6-on-4 as Blues’ head coach Craig Berube pulled Binnington. Not long after the penalty ended, the Blues finally got one past Cal Petersen, with Oskar Sundqvist going five-hole on the Kings’ netminder with 1:46 left to play.
From there, it was a frantic finish, but the Kings were able to secure their sixth straight win and points in their last seven. I think everyone took a collective sigh of relief as soon as the final horn sounded.
The Kings were outshot 36 to 20, but a win is a win – an ugly win at that.
LA Kings Three Stars
Cal Petersen: Stopped 35-of-36 shots, getting peppered from a Blues’ team trying to avoid being swept.
Dustin Brown: Another day, another goal. His 11th of the year.
Olli Maatta: How good has Olli Maatta been over the last handful of games? He stepped in admirably tonight in place of an injured Mikey Anderson, playing with Doughty again on the top pairing. He logged 25:05 on-ice time and looked very comfortable out there.
McLellan on having Maatta/Doughty paired together again
You know they were a real solid pair for 30 minutes tonight, and Olli played a big part in that. You can just see he’s a lot more confident now than he was earlier in the year. I think he’s got a better understanding of how we want to play and just making good smart plays right now — defending well, blocking shots, doing everything that he needs to do. So real good for him and good for us that he’s responded the way we believe we could.
McLellan on what happened with Mikey Anderson
It was well before the morning skate. It was after the game the other day. And, obviously, he doesn’t have a serious injury. He’s been able to skate and practice yesterday. We just weren’t too sure he was going to be able to finish the night if he got put in a tough situation. So Dermy drew in, and we’ll see where Mikey is when we get to Minnesota on Friday.
McLellan on the delayed penalty
Yeah, that was the longest delayed penalty call that I’ve seen. Both teams had to go through, I think, a line rotation. I know that Kings coach fell asleep and didn’t have a line ready because you never expect it to happen. So shame on me for not paying attention. But again, it felt, you know, when a team’s in your end that long, it feels real dangerous unless you’re playing it properly…Do we want to play that way all the time? No. But we did what we had to do, you know, for about a two-minute span just to prevent.
Petersen on the six-game winning streak
I think it’s more so, you know, guys are playing how we kind of expect them to play and doing their jobs. And I think that’s been our main thing. And, you know, we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves and, you know, taking a game by game by game, and I think it’s paying off for us. You know, we had a defenseman go down, and other ones stepped right in and played awesome for us. So I think it’s guys are seizing the opportunities that are given to them. And, you know, the older guys are continuing on, you know, setting the tone. So, I think it’s a great combination. And we’re, you know, hoping to build often when we go to Minnesota.
LA Kings Schedule
The LA Kings will take their six-game winning streak into Minnesota for a back-to-back set of games beginning Friday against a Wild team who has won four straight of their own. Once the final horn sounds on Saturday, the Kings will be done facing the Wild in the regular season.
Please be sure to check out our latest podcast episode, recording before Wednesday’s game! Available on all streaming services. And make sure you’re following us on Twitter for live-tweets during the game!