With only six games remaining in the regular season, the Los Angeles Kings should be all but guaranteed to start the playoffs with a higher seed than last season, and behind the stellar goaltending of Jonathan Quick the team looks poised to go on another deep run. The Kings have won four of their last six games and have points in five of those games, putting them fourth in the Western Conference standings. Every team they face the rest of the month is either in the playoffs or just a few points out, so the Kings must finish strong if they hope to enter the postseason on a positive note.
Quick has allowed just three goals in the last two games while posting a .930 save percentage or better in each contest. His performance is proving to be vital for a Kings team that has let too many games be decided by one goal this season. He will need to be especially sharp down the stretch, especially on Tuesday night when the Kings face a San Jose Sharks team that trails them in the standings (and the division) by just three points.
The Kings have also seen their recent success come as a result of a suddenly red-hot power play. They have at least one goal with the man-advantage in each of their last five games, while allowing their opponents only two goals while on the penalty kill. Mike Richards had a vital power play tally against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, and has at least a point in six straight games. Jeff Carter continues to lead the team in goals, and netted his 24th of the season in a 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
The Kings look to be hot at the right time for a second straight season, but with a very tough schedule to finish out the season, they will be tested often and have little margin for error if they hope to reach the playoffs as a top-four seed.