The Los Angeles Kings are now the only team in the NHL who hasn’t lost a game at home. They’re also the only team with a perfect record on the penalty kill at home. In spite of not playing a game since last Saturday’s win over the Nashville Predators and seeming a bit out of sorts during the first period, the Kings kept their perfect record at home in a very physical game against the Dallas Stars.
Tonight’s game in LA had 91 penalty minutes in 24 penalties almost evenly divided between the Stars (49) and Kings (42). Team captain Dustin Brown said they’re getting “no team that’s coming in here not expecting to have a hard game” and that they’re not going to catch anyone by surprise this year.
When asked about their successful penalty kill (perfect at home and close to it, 92%, overall), Brown said, “I think pk’s really not about x’s and o’s, it’s about an attitude and we kind of have that attitude on the pk… it’s an attitude out there and that’s really what pk’s all about.” The Kings’ new attitude seems to be working, since the only power play goals scored in Staples Center this season have been by the Kings, who managed to score two tonight in spite of their struggling power play. Coach Murray said the two goals the Kings scored on the power play were “good for a lot of reasons.” He said it’s “good for our confidence” and talked about the traffic in front of the net for Justin Williams’ and Jack Johnson’s goals. Traffic in front of the net is something the Kings have struggled to keep up. It may have backfired a little tonight when they had a goal disallowed because of Williams falling into the crease, but it’s definitely something the Kings need in order to score against the top goaltenders in the league.
The Kings are the number one team in the west, in spite of playing fewer games than some of the other teams in the conference. They’re also second in the NHL to the Washington Capitals, who have played two more games than the Kings. The New York Islanders, who extended their league leading losing streak to 9 games tonight in the shootout tonight in San Jose, will be Staples Center to face the Kings Saturday night as the Kings try to extend their home winning streak to eight games and their current winning streak to six games.