The Los Angeles Kings got a huge win Thursday night behind a late goal from Mike Richards, completing a season sweep of the St. Louis Blues and jumping to fifth place in the Western Conference standings. The Kings have now won eight straight games against the Blues – a sweep in the second round of last season’s playoffs plus four games this season. The win helped the Kings jump the Detroit Red Wings (who lost to the San Jose Sharks) in the standings, and dropped the Blues to eighth.
Jonathan Quick delivered another solid performance in net, and the Kings offense took care of the rest. Despite an 0-for-4 performance on the power play, the Kings once again showcased their scoring depth in getting goals from Richards and Dustin Brown, as well as from Trevor Lewis and Justin Williams. Anze Kopitar assisted on Brown’s goal, giving the team scoring leader 22 points in the last 19 games. Kopitar’s 10 goals and 31 points lead the way for the Kings, while Williams moved in to second with his fifth goal of the season and now has 22 points. Rookie Tyler Toffoli turned in another impressive night, assisting on Richards’ goal. He now has a goal and three points through his first five games. The Kings also once again got offensive help from their defense, as Slava Voynov’s great season continued with an assist. In his sophomore season Voynov has four goals, 21 points and is plus-11.
This was a big win for the Kings, as they showed off two of the strengths that helped them win the Stanley Cup last season: goaltending and scoring depth. On top of that, should they meet the Blues in the playoffs they now have a definite mental edge heading in.