Waking up with the Kings: March 28
-The Kings have found ways to win on the road.
1) LAK 6, COL 4. Allowed three PPG, erased a two-goal deficit.*#
2) LAK 2, CGY 0. Out-shot, slightly out-possessed in even game. Quick shut the door.^
3) LAK 3, WPG 1. Trailed early in the second period, dominated otherwise.
4) LAK 4, EDM 2. Along w/ WPG game, most dominant performance of the stretch.
5) LAK 3, CGY 2. Out-shot. Held on for win after taking 3-0 lead.*^#
6) LAK 3, PHI 2. Scored GWG shortly after PHI tied game w/ two 3P goals.#
7) LAK 5, WAS 4 (SO). Erased two two-goal deficits, allowed late GTG, won in SO.^#
8) LAK 3, PIT 2. Out-shot. Surrendered two-goal lead, scored early 3P GWG. 7/7 PK.*#
*Martin Jones in net
^Second night of a back-to-back
#Game-winner scored in third period, overtime or a shootout
During the stretch, there have only really been two thoroughly dominant, wire-to-wire performances – the wins at Edmonton and Winnipeg. The outcomes of other games had been in flux, or Los Angeles goaltending earned the team a win in which the run of play was mostly even. The Kings trailed in the second period in three of the eight games – including games at Colorado and Washington in which they erased a two-goal second period deficit. It’s not particularly relevant to last night’s game or the above chart, but the Kings haven’t lost in Canada since Winnipeg’s home opener on October 4.
-The Kings didn’t necessarily check off all the boxes that make road wins easier to come by. They were undisciplined and were forced to magnificently kill seven penalties against a unit that entered the night leading the league in power play percentage. Martin Jones allowed a soft goal, and the Penguins erased a two-goal deficit in eight minutes and nine seconds in the second period. An enormous moment in the game, obviously, was Jones recovering from allowing Taylor Pyatt’s equalizer by denying Matt Niskanen’s Grade-A attempt with excellent lateral movement early on a Pittsburgh power play while the score was tied. Jonathan Quick has previously spoken about the need to “make the next save,” and Jones did exactly that with a save that rivaled his third period stop on Gabriel Landeskog from the Colorado game noted above. He saved all 11 power play shots that he faced.
-Similar to the Washington game, the Kings took some time getting comfortable, though by the middle of the second period, Los Angeles had emerged as the superior team during five-on-five play. It’s also encouraging to see that once they reclaimed the lead on Doughty’s third period goal, they forechecked as well as they had forechecked at any point of the road trip. The Penguins certainly had chances down the stretch, though credit the Kings for erasing a large middle chunk of the third period by denying the home team any consistent quality zone exits and neutral zone advances. Los Angeles played very well with the lead in the third period.