Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/16/12
On February 22, the Los Angeles Kings had gone three months without a three-game winning streak. When a 4-1 loss in Colorado dropped them to 2-6-2 in their previous 10 games and outside of the Western Conference's top eight teams, there was evidently one of those self-searching moments. "Not to be clich, but our job as players, we just kind of worry about what we've got to do and try to worry about what I've got to do to help this team win and get in the playoffs," defenseman Willie Mitchell said at the time. Since then, the Kings have rattled off a pair of three-game winning streaks as part of a 7-3 stretch, and having added Jeff Carter at the onset of the turnaround, Los Angeles' once-stalled offense has scored at least three goals in eight of its last 10 games. In Friday's 4-2 Freeway Faceoff victory over the Anaheim Ducks, Carter wasn't as much of an impact as the Kings original, tried-and-true leadership staple of Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, three linemates who combined for two goals, two assists and a plus-eight rating while leading the team to their first-ever five-win season against their Interstate 5 rivals. "After that first period, we kept on coming, kept on forechecking and shooting the puck, creating chances," said Kopitar, referencing a 3-0 Los Angeles lead after one period in which he was among the best skaters from either team. "We still have some division games that we have to take care of, and they're going to be big games down the stretch. We've just got to keep on going right now." The Kings are aware of their unforgiving schedule that remains. After Friday's game, they bounce right back into action against Nashville Saturday night at Staples Center (7:30 pm FOX Sports West), the opener of a four-game homestand that also welcomes St. Louis, San Jose and Boston to town next week. "You look at our schedule I said before, there's no weak sisters," coach Darryl Sutter said. "It's tough sleddin'." It's why Friday's game at Anaheim a challenging rivalry game against a desperate team on its last legs was a must-win road game in an unfriendly environment, never mind the several thousand Kings fans that chanted Go Kings Go' throughout portions of game. Though the Ducks leapfrogged L.A. during the final week of the regular season last year, Justin Williams wasn't letting events that happened nearly a year ago cloud the team's objectives. "I wouldn't read too much into that," Williams said about any lingering revenge factor. "We're aware of the rivalry. We know it's not a Montreal-Boston rivalry. But we're aware of it. We want to win every game we can against them. They got home ice last year, so yes, that was something that kind of stuck us a little bit at the end of the year, but at the same time, our goal right now isn't to eliminate Anaheim, it's to try to get above the playoff bubble." In trying to get above that bubble, Los Angeles has since strung together several clutch road efforts, winning in Minnesota, Nashville, Chicago and now Anaheim, not to mention the come-from-ahead-loss in Detroit that could have sunk the spirits of the league's youngest team but now resembles more of a speed bump when viewed through the club's rearview mirror. So has this been the best stretch of focused Kings hockey this season? "Probably the most consistent, in terms of getting offense every night and getting good goaltending and everything," Matt Greene said. "Everything's kind of coming together lately." "You look at our top line right now Brownie, Kopie they're scoring." Friday's win also gave Sutter another opportunity to use his accurate, often-repeated observation first used at his December introduction. "I've said a hundred times, it's a three-two league, right?" NOTES: Darryl Sutter: "We scored probably a couple goals that their goalie for sure would like back. We hadn't gotten many breaks the last couple months. I thought our second period was our best period, and on the scoreclock, we lost it." Dustin Brown's assist on Mike Richards' empty net goal gave him points in 10 straight games (5-10=15) to set a career high. Cam Fowler's second period power play goal ended a string of 33 consecutive penalty kills Los Angeles has played 38 games under Sutter, going 19-11-8.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones kneels with players prior to anthem, later stands

Jim Harbaugh wants Big Ten to address ‘unsportsmanlike’ opposing locker rooms

Yasiel Puig to play Tuesday after being benched two games

The strangest, oddest, most ridiculous developments of NFL Week 3

LeBron on Irving trade: I was ready to give him the keys

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Norman to Raiders WRs: ‘Do not run your mouth’

WATCH: Dez Bryant drags half of Arizona’s defense into end zone

Marcus Smart lost a lot of weight in offseason to become more athletic

Report: Bucs LB Lavonte David week-to-week with ankle sprain

These ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants had no clue on NFL questions

Von Miller advertisement pulled after anthem protest

After Carmelo Anthony trade, the Western Conference looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

After Melo trade, the West looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker