Behind yet another stout performance from one of their goaltenders, the LA Kings made it six consecutive wins, and points from seven straight, with a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. With the win, the Kings improved to 4-0-0 on their current six-game road trip, their longest of the season, and are now tied for third in the West Division with 21 points at 9-6-3.
After a scoreless first period, in which Cal Petersen made a few big stops to keep the game without a goal, Alex Iafallo opened the scoring midway through the second period, after he knocked home a Dustin Brown rebound to get the Kings on the board. Defenseman Olli Maatta, who was excellent tonight paired with Drew Doughty, got the secondary assist on the play.
The Kings doubled their advantage with the eventual game-winning goal from Andreas Athanasiou, who beat St. Louis netminder Jordan Binnington with a shot from the slot, off a nice drop-pass from Austin Wagner. Athanasiou’s tally was his first since returning from the COVID-19 Protocol list three games ago, while Kurtis MacDermid collected an assist in his return to the lineup.
The Kings did have some looks in the third period, but the Blues had more, though all but one were turned aside by Petersen, who made 35 saves in total on the evening. The Iowa native was less than two minutes away from his second shutout from three career games played in St. Louis, but a late goal from Oskar Sundqvist made it a 2-1 game, which was the final margin.
Hear from Petersen and Todd McLellan after tonight’s game.
On if he liked the Maatta – Doughty pairing more tonight after being reunited, and Maatta’s game specifically
Oh definitely. 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 than he was earlier in the year. I think he has a better understanding of how we want to play, just making good, smart plays right now. Defending well, blocking shots, doing everything that he needs to do. Real good for him, and good for us that he’s responded the way we believed he could.
On the team’s play tonight
Actually, I didn’t think we had a real good game from the get go, to tell you the truth. We were slow with the puck, if you look at the number of shots that missed the net, deflected, tipped, fumbled. We just weren’t good with the puck tonight, throughout the whole night. We did check fairly well, even during that extended 6-on-4 time, we didn’t give them much out of the middle, the goaltender was great. I didn’t think we were nearly as sharp as we were two nights ago. Some of that has to do with how well St. Louis played, I thought they played a much better game tonight than they did the other night. It put us into a tough spot, but I think there’s more in our team and we’ll have to clean some things up by the time we get to Minnesota.
On the extended delayed penalty, and if he’s ever seen one like that
That was the longest delayed penalty call that I’ve seen. Both teams I think had to go through a line rotation, and I know the 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. Again, it felt like…when a team is in your end for that long, it feels real dangerous, unless you’re playing it properly. I remember Jacques Lemaire told me once, they can play in your end for 82 games, 60 minutes a night, and you can still get 82 points and make the playoffs by tying every game. Do we want to play that way all the time? No, but we did what we had to do just to prevent.
On Mikey Anderson and why he missed tonight’s game
It was well before the morning skate, it was after the game the other day. Obviously, he doesn’t have a serious injury, he’s been able to skate in 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. Dermy drew in and we’ll see where Mikey is when we get to Minnesota on Friday.
– Cal Petersen made 35 saves on 36 shots, as he improved to 3-0-1 over his last four games.
– Petersen and Jonathan Quick combined have stopped 202 of the last 212 shots faced, on the Kings current seven-game point streak, good for a .953 save percentage.
– Kings forward Alex Iafallo scored his sixth goal of the season, with the game-opening tally, giving him eight points (4-4-8) over his last seven games played. Iafallo ranks third on the Kings with 13 points (6-7-13) on the season.
– With the primary assist on Iafallo’s goal, Dustin Brown collected his ninth point (6-3-9) over his last seven games played.
– Andreas Athanasiou scored his first goal since returning to the lineup in Arizona. Athanasiou has four goals from 10 games played this season.
– The Kings currently have six consecutive victories, and points in seven straight games. The six-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the NHL and is tied with Tampa Bay for the longest winning streak of the season in total.
The LA Kings will travel to Minnesota tomorrow morning and will not hold a practice. The team is back on the ice on Friday, with a morning skate in advance of the game that evening against Minnesota.