The Los Angeles Kings lost a tough one at home this past Thursday night to the New Jersey Devils, 2 to 1 in overtime. The Kings were riding high from a 4 game winning streak. LA had just thrashed the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday 5 to 2. The Kings have been playing better as of late even without stars Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick. Unfortunately, the Kings offense could not get more than 1 goal past Devils goaltender Cory Schneider. Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens suffered his first loss of the season.
Anze Kopitar (Photo credit: ctpost.com)
Los Angeles deserved more in this game as they thoroughly dominated the Devils in the first 2 periods out shooting them 27 to 5. LA just could not take advantage of countless chances they had to score on Schneider. It is going to be tough for any team in the NHL to win when they are only able to score one goal. The Kings offensive firepower is not the same without Jeff Carter, as it is now very difficult for this Kings team to score more than 2 goals a game. That 5 goal outburst against the Lightning was an aberration. In order for this Kings team to win games they will have to grind them out and this Devils team was up to the challenge. The Devils did not play great, heck not even good hockey, but they did enough to pull out an overtime victory over the Kings.
Los Angeles played well throughout this game and must keep this play up if they want to continue to climb up in the standings. The goals will come if they continue to outshoot their opponents. The Kings currently sit in 3rd in the Pacific Division with 32 points and are only 3 points behind division leaders the Anaheim Ducks. A few players to keep an eye on in the next game are Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli and Ben Scrivens. Williams recorded his team leading 9th goal of the season against the Devils and will continue to try to pick the scoring load. Tyler Toffoli has been magnificent since his call up from the minors just a few weeks ago, recording 4 goals and 4 assists. The last player and most important one is Ben Scrivens, he has been remarkable this season. Scrivens took over for the injured Jonathan Quick just a few games ago and has been on the top of his game winning 4 out of the past 5 games. The Kings continue to improve as the season goes on and will look to close out this mini home stand with a victory tonight over the Colorado Avalanche.