The Los Angeles Kings traveled to the east coast for a 4 game road trip and did very well coming away with 3 wins and a shootout loss. The Kings didn’t play the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but played good hockey and finished it off with a victory of the Rangers. The Kings were able to string together 3 wins in a row after dropping the first game of the road trip to the Buffalo Sabres. Defense and great goaltending were the keys in those 3 victories. LA gave up only 2 goals in their last 3 wins and recorded shutouts in the last 2. The Kings are now a season high 8 games over .500 and are keeping pace in the tough Western Conference. LA did many things well on this road trip.
Ben Scrivens (Photo credit: usatoday.com)
Los Angeles beat the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers on this road trip. Goaltending was the number 1 factor in all of the Kings victories and it was all achieved without superstar goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick suffered a groin strain in the first game of the road trip against the Sabres and is expected to be out for 3 to 6 weeks. Things honestly did not look promising for the Kings after the loss against the Sabres, but backup Ben Scrivens stepped up in a huge away and led the Kings to 3 straight wins. Scrivens had only started one other game this season and that was a shutout win over the Florida Panthers. Scrivens was a bit rusty against the Islanders allowing 2 goals in one period, but then clamped down and shutout the Devils and the Rangers. Without Scrivens masterful play the Kings would have surely lost the final 2 games of this road trip.
The other thing the Kings can take away from this road trip is that they are finally starting to gel and coming away with tough grind it out victories. The defense was masterful and the Kings had timely goals throughout this road trip. LA has been able to sustain the loss of Jeff Carter by getting contributions from everyone on the team. Carter is expected to be out another 3 weeks with his previously reported foot injury. The Kings are one of the biggest teams in the league and have showed it by pushing around opponents and forcing countless errors by the other teams. LA now sits in 4th in the Pacific Division and only 3 points behind division leader and crosstown rivals the Anaheim Ducks. Los Angeles comes back home for a 3 game home stand against the Lightning, the Devils and the Colorado Avalanche.