Kings tie franchise mark with point in 11th straight game
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Todd McLellan isn’t about to get enthused about his Los Angeles Kings squad tying the franchise mark for the longest point streak in franchise history.
Playing stout defense though is something the fourth-year coach can get excited about.
Not only did the Kings pick up a point in their 11th straight game Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, but it also extended their streak of allowing two or fewer goals in regulation to 10 games.
“That is something that we can hang our hats on and that we’re pleased about,” McLellan said. “We feel like we got to protect the goaltenders and help them out. … That we will acknowledge and keep preaching, for sure.”
Viktor Arvidsson had two goals and Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which has gone 9-0-2 during its streak. The last time the Kings had an 11-game point streak was 2013-14, when they won their second Stanley Cup championship.
Coincidentally, the current streak started with a 6-5 shootout win over the Jets on Feb. 28.
“I think that for the majority of these games we’ve won, we’ve kind of outplayed the other team for almost 60 minutes, and that’s an important thing to be able to do, to take into the playoffs,” said Doughty, who has found the net in four of the last five games.
Alex Iafallo also scored for Los Angeles and Joonas Korpisalo stopped 25 shots.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Winnipeg and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves. The Jets are four points in front of Calgary for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
“I think everyone is frustrated right now. Everyone wants to win. We can’t drop too many points,” Dubois said. “It was a big game for us to see where we’re at. We did some good things but can do a lot better.”
Arvidsson — who has 22 goals on the season — has four in the last four games.
His first goal came 82 seconds into the game. Trevor Moore won the faceoff in the offensive zone and made a backhand pass to Arvidsson, who snapped it into the net from the back of the left faceoff circle.
Arvidsson added an empty-net goal late in the third period.
The Kings extended their lead to 2-0 five minutes into the second period on the power play. Phillip Danault made a great pass between Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon and Hellebuyck as Iafallo buried it into the short side of the net.
Doughty extended the lead to 3-1 27 seconds into the third period with a wrist shot from outside the right faceoff circle near the boards after Anze Kopitar won the faceoff.
Winnipeg got its first power-play goal in seven games with 1:23 remaining in the second period when Dubois took a cross-ice pass from Kyle Connor and scored from the left faceoff circle to get the Jets within 2-1.
The Jets got a five-minute power play after Los Angeles’ Blake Lizotte received a five-minute match penalty for a vicious cross-check to Josh Morrissey’s face. The goal came with 33 seconds left in the man advantage.
Morrissey said he had been going at it with Lizotte as the two skated up the ice and was expecting to fight him when the cross-check happened.
“It was a careless play. I thought we were going to go and took a cross-check to the chin,” Morrissey said. “It could have been my teeth so thankfully not.”
NOTES: Danault picked up his 300th career point and 200th assist. ... Winnipeg’s Connor set a career high for most assists in a season when he got his 47th on Dubois’ goal.
Jets: Travel to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Kings: Host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
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