The Los Angeles Kings have now tied their season-best winning streak at seven games following last night’s victory over Edmonton. Tonight they will look to break that record by taking out the Calgary Flames. Calgary is counting the days until summer vacation, currently sitting second to last in the Western Conference and 15 points out of the final playoff spot.
Los Angeles has managed to pick up their scoring a little bit since returning from the Olympic break. Prior to the break they averaged a lowly 2.3 goals per game, and now in the six games since the return they are registering 3.3. Considering they are No. 1 in the league in goals against at 2.0, that 3.3 per has proven more than enough during their recent run.
Going into tonight’s matchup there are a couple of things L.A. needs to be careful of. First and foremost, this is their second game in as many days which means we are likely to see backup Martin Jones in net for Los Angeles. Jones started out his career with a historic unbeaten streak, but he has since come back down to earth while recording mediocre numbers. The combination of tired legs from last night’s contest and a goaltender who has appeared a bit shaky in his last few outings could cause problems for L.A.
They will need to keep things simple tonight and help on the defensive end as much as possible. The easier the outing is for Jones, the better. If he can raise his confidence tonight by having a solid game it could pay dividends down the stretch going into the last month of the season.
On the offensive end, Marian Gaborik has yet to record a point since making his debut for LA. That should still not be a concern for Kings fans. he is healthy and he is due; I see him contributing to the scoring in one way or another tonight. Also, Jeff Carter is on fire, recording three points last night.
It is up to the defense to keep Jones comfortable and the playmakers to feed the opportunities to the goal scorers. With these two elements falling into place, the Kings will make it eight in a row.