LOS ANGELES — After an embarrassingly poor, lethargic effort in a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 18, the Los Angeles Kings showed some improvement in a 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders in front of an announced sell-out crowd of 18,118 at Staples Center on March 20.
Brad Richardson scored his eleventh goal of the season at 13:35 of the first period and the Kings, behind a bounce-back performance by goaltender Jonathan Quick, made the lone goal stand up.
Quick stopped 26 shots in his fourth shutout of the season and the eighth of his National Hockey League career.
The Kings got off to a strong start, which has been rare for them in recent games. But when Kings defenseman Randy Jones went off for tripping at 15:39 of the second period, the Islanders got some much-needed energy despite not scoring on the ensuing power play and took over control of the game, while the Kings’ effort sagged.
The third period momentum went back and forth, but the Isles earned a slight edge in the effort department and had more quality scoring chances, including a wrap-around chance late in the game that was stopped by Quick even though he had lost his stick, along with a point-blank range save on Isles’ forward Kyle Okposo in the dying seconds while the Islanders had goaltender Dwayne Roloson on the bench for the extra attacker.
In the end, the Kings improved in the effort department, but against a better team, they would have likely finished with a loss, not a win. Indeed, they still have a lot of work ahead of them in the final twelve games of the regular season.
The Kings are in fifth place in the Western Conference going into action on March 21, with 87 points. They are tied in points with sixth-place Nashville and lead eighth-place Detroit by four points and ninth-place Calgary by six points.
- The Kings have now killed 24 straight penalties (dating back to the second period on Marcj 4 at Nashville). The team record for consecutive penalties killed is 46 (2001-02).
- The Kings are 49/54 on the penalty-kill the last sixteen games (90.7 percent) and 33/35 in the last eighteen games (94.3 percent).
- All Quick’s shutouts this season have been at home. Last season, all four shutouts were on the road.
- The last time the Kings won 1-0 was March 26, 2009 at Dallas (1-0 in a shootout).
- Richardson’s career high in goals is fourteen (with Colorado in 2006-07).
- The Kings are 27-0-0 when leading after two periods and 32-6-3 when scoring first. They are also 22-9-5 in one-goal games and 14-4-0 against the Eastern Conference.
- The club record for most wins in a season is 46 (1990-91).
- The most wins head coach Terry Murray has had in one season is 45 (three times).
Audio Interviews (raw, unedited)
Jonathan Quick (2:02)
Dustin Brown (1:20)
Brad Richardson (3:29)
Terry Murray (8:45)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
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