The victory over the St Louis Blues on Monday, Dec 2, was a beautiful sight for all those Los Angeles Kings fans who watched in horror on Saturday night, as the Calgary Flames ended the Kings' streak of eleven straight games without a loss in regulation time.
Saturday was an uncharacteristically lackluster performance all around. From the team's overall lack of effort, to the lack of focus from goalie Ben Scrivens.
Perhaps the Kings were caught looking past the struggling Flames, and toward these big monday/tuesday night matchups against the Blues and Anaheim Ducks.
Whatever the case, the Kings were a completely different team on monday. Head coach Darryl Sutter shuffled the lines a bit, and the result could not have been better. The Kings came out and thoroughly beat the Blues in every facet of the game.
The Kings led 2-0 after the first period, and 3-0 after Toffoli scored his second goal of the game at 5:48 of the second period. Mike Richards assisted on both of Toffoli's goals. Though the final score was 3-2, this was a dominant performance by the Kings. The Kings held the 3-0 lead through most of the game. St. Louis scored twice in the final six mins of play, after the Kings admittedly had eased up a bit.
Said Kings goalie Ben Scrivens, “I think we tried to approach it with a bit more focus. Just attention to detail. We know they’ve got an extremely potent power play. I think they’re second in the league in offensive production and they don’t give much up either. So we knew we had our work cut out for us. It was just a matter of focusing on what we had to do and executing our game plan.”
Kings are now 15-3-1 vs St. Louis since Oct 18, 2011 (including playoffs). Regarding that trend, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said,“Well I think the trend is we had slow starts. Both games outplayed significantly in the first period, out competed, not ready for the tempo. So that is our responsibilities as players and coaches, we have to get ready for the tempo of the game. I thought, again, that we revved it up half way through the hockey game. We can’t play like that. The scores is 3-0, I don’t think you can judge the game by its 3-0 score, who knows how much they let their foot off the accelerator. To me, it’s ready at the start, ready to compete at the start, ready to fight for space. They took it to us."
Three stars of the game - 1) Tyler Toffoli, 2) Jake Muzzin, 3) Ben Scrivens
Forward line combinations:
*Kings will faceoff against the Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim on Tues, Dec 3 at 7:00 pm PT - If Kings beat Ducks in regulation time, they will be tied with Anaheim at 39 pts; just 2 points behind the division-leading San Jose Sharks.