Surging Predators end Kings' winning streak
Colton Sissons had a goal and two assists and Juuse Saros made 27 saves as the visiting Nashville Predators ended the Los Angeles Kings' four-game winning streak with a 4-1 win on Thursday.Jeremy Lauzon had a goal and an assist and Mark Jankowski and Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators, who have won three in a row for the first time since a four-game winning streak Dec. 10-16.Kevin Fiala scored and David Rittich made 17 saves for the Kings, who are 5-2-0 since Jim Hiller took over as interim head coach on Feb. 2.The Predators took a 1-0 lead at 8:47 of the first period.Sissons entered the Los Angeles zone on a rush and tried to drop a pass to Luke Schenn trailing on the play, but the puck went off the skate of Kings forward Anze Kopitar and against the wall.Sissons retrieved the puck and made a no-look backhand pass between two defenders to Trenin entering the play. He gathered the puck as he skated through the left circle and then out-waited Rittich before sliding the puck into the net with a backhand.The Kings went on their first power play at 10:59, but Nashville recorded the only shot on goal during the man advantage.Cole Smith was called for high sticking at 17:44 and Trenin for was whistled tripping a minute later and the Kings capitalized on the five on three.
Kings, Pierre-Luc Dubois look to stay hot vs. Predators
It wasn't long ago when Los Angeles Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois was receiving some of the blame for the team's sudden downturn, a 2-8-6 stretch after the Christmas break that ultimately led to the firing of coach Todd McLellan.Dubois appears to have turned things around under interim coach Jim Hiller and he'll try to stay the course when the Kings host the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.Dubois scored two goals in a 5-1 win against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, helping Los Angeles record its fourth straight win.Dubois has three goals and three assists in six games since Hiller took over on Feb. 2, and the Kings have gone 5-1-0 in those games."He's playing the game with more intensity, and that's all over the ice," Hiller said. "So, he's stepped up his game, there's no question."Dubois was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets on June 27 in exchange for forwards Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and Gabriel Vilardi, as well as a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.Dubois immediately signed an eight-year, $68 million contract, but the production didn't come as quickly. He had just seven goals at the midway point of the season, well off the pace he set last season, when he scored 27.Dubois, 25, appears to have found consistency playing with 21-year-old right wing Quinton Byfield, however."He's a great player, that's why we brought him in," Byfield said of Dubois. "He's been good for us, really good for us lately and it's easy to play with him. He holds on to pucks, he's playing both ends of the ice really well, he's skating good, he's doing all the right things very well and making it easy on me. We just kind of look for each other out there and it's kind of connecting right now."On the downside, another left wing for the Kings, Viktor Arvidsson, lasted just 17 seconds of his first shift on Tuesday before sustaining a lower-body injury.Arvidsson was in his fourth game back after missing the first 50 following offseason back surgery.
Pierre-Luc Dubois' two goals lift Kings over Jackets
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals for the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-1 win against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.Quinton Byfield and Drew Doughty each had a goal and an assist, Kevin Fiala also scored and Cam Talbot made 33 saves and contributed an assist for the Kings, who have won four in a row.Adam Boqvist scored and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 31 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped three of four.Byfield gave the Kings a 1-0 lead with a skillful individual effort at 18:22 of the first period.He took possession of the puck after a faceoff win by the Kings in the Columbus zone. Byfield raced across both blue lines before Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski attempted to cut him off at the top of the left circle. Byfield pulled the puck between Werenski's skates, however, kicked it in front of him and scored with a backhand while on one knee.Columbus' Johnny Gaudreau appeared to score his first goal since Dec. 29 earlier in the period, but the play was challenged by the Kings for goaltender interference and waved off after a video review. It was the second straight game that Gaudreau lost a goal to a coaches' challenge.The Blue Jackets had just one shot on goal the final 10 minutes of the first period.The Kings moved ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal at 1:27 of the second period.Los Angeles rookie defenseman Brandt Clarke sent the puck through all three zones and off the end board. Dubois was the first to the puck, and he scored with a one-timer from the inside edge of the left circle.
Back on track, Kings return home to face Blue Jackets
The Los Angeles Kings will try to continue their improved play under interim coach Jim Hiller when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.Los Angeles is 4-1-0 since Todd McLellan was fired on Feb. 2 and Hiller took over. The Kings have won three in a row, all on the road, including back-to-back victories on Saturday and Sunday against the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins."I'm just happy for them because we had a really hard six weeks or eight weeks, whatever you want to call it, and it just doesn't feel good," Hiller said. "When your job isn't going good for you it doesn't feel good. There's only one way to get out of that, to just dig yourself out of it."The turnaround seemed to follow a 7-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in the opener of their four-game trip on Feb. 13."After the Buffalo game this trip, we had everybody on board," Hiller said. "Everybody recommitted. There wasn't a guy that we could point to that didn't do the job. That makes you tough to beat when you get that."Adrian Kempe bounced back from his minus-4 showing against the Sabres to record an assist in a 2-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and score both goals in the win against Pittsburgh."He's a goal scorer and he got 40 last year," Hiller said. "For me, it's just the work ethic. Juice got back on the body. He's physical if you look at the hit chart, so he's doing all the right things to get back to the identity of the team."The Blue Jackets will try to win two in a row for the first time since Nov. 22-24. They've had 10 chances to accomplish that feat since then, but have lost each time.
Kings upend Pens on Adrian Kempe's late short-handed goal
Adrian Kempe's second goal Sunday, a short-handed tally late in the third, gave the visiting Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.At 1-1, a turnover by Pittsburgh's Lars Eller led to a Kings two-on-one. Kempe kept the puck and, from the right dot, shot the puck between the pads of Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry with 3:10 left in regulation.The Kings have won three in row and five of six.Los Angeles goaltender Cam Talbot got his first win since Dec. 23, making 29 saves.Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins, who have lost four of five.Jarry picked up his third straight loss, making 31 saves.Both teams had their pregame routine altered as the players were on the benches for an extended ceremony to retire former Pittsburgh superstar winger Jaromir Jagr's No. 68.Jagr, 52, then joined the current Penguins team -- all wearing No. 68 jerseys and many wearing mullet wigs reminiscent of Jagr's early-career look - for the pregame warmup skate, culminating in Jagr taking a couple solo laps and saluting the fans at center ice.
Penguins hope for home boost from Jaromir Jagr against Kings
The Pittsburgh Penguins' game Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Kings comes at the end of a celebratory weekend, but their reality hasn't changed.The Penguins, in an uphill struggle to get into the playoffs, are coming off a solid 4-1 win Thursday at Chicago. That came after a three-game losing streak."We had an urgency that we need to roll over into future games," Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan Graves said.The Penguins could have a different sort of motivation Sunday.In an extended pregame ceremony, Pittsburgh will retire the No. 68 jersey of Jaromir Jagr and raise it to the rafters.It's been quite a weekend with Jagr, who played his first 11 seasons with the Penguins as the yin to Mario Lemieux's yang and won two Stanley Cups en route to finishing his NHL career second only to Wayne Gretzky in points.Jagr still plays occasional games for the team he owns in his hometown of Kladno in Czechia, and celebrated his 52nd birthday Thursday in Pittsburgh.He held court with several former teammates at a public event Friday night, then got into full gear and did drills with the current Penguins at practice Saturday, also visiting and laughing with the players in the locker room.Jagr told Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan that he didn't want to be a distraction. Sullivan told him, "You're actually an inspiration."Perhaps that and the win over the Blackhawks could send the Penguins on a run."People have been trying to write us off all year, and I think it's been easy to do because of where we sit in the standings," Graves said. "But if we can string a few (wins) together, we're right back in the hunt. There's no doubt in this group."The Kings, meanwhile, are holding onto a wild-card spot in the Western Conference but have struggled at times. They could be catching a groove.
Kings, Brandt Clarke score late OT goal to down Bruins
Brandt Clarke came out of the penalty box and scored on a breakaway with 26.9 seconds left in overtime as the Los Angeles Kings came from behind for a 5-4 win over the host Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.The win was the Kings' second straight on a four-game road trip.Phillip Danault sprung a pass to Clarke, who also added an assist and was one of five Los Angeles goal scorers. Matt Roy, Vladislav Gavrikov, Alex Laferriere and Anze Kopitar also tallied, while Pierre-Luc Dubois had two assists.David Rittich made 28 saves in the victory.James van Riemsdyk registered his second multi-goal game of the season and added an assist, while Trent Frederic had a goal and a helper to lead Boston.Anthony Richard also netted his first goal and Linus Ullmark made 15 of his 30 saves in the first period for the Bruins, who are 1-3-2 on their current seven-game homestand.The Kings came back from a pair of one-goal deficits in the third.First, Laferriere backhanded the puck from the wing towards the net and then got the final whack in a net-mouth scramble at 5:51. Quinton Byfield also had a chance in front.However, Frederic surged down the slot to put home the rebound of a Morgan Geekie shot to put Boston back ahead at 7:11.
Quinton Byfield's late goal lifts Kings past Devils
Quinton Byfield scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:37 remaining in the third period and the Los Angeles Kings topped the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night at Newark, N.J.On a power play with game tied 1-1, Los Angeles' Brandt Clarke sent the puck into some net-front traffic from the point. Positioned well was Byfield, who has five goals and four assists in his past seven games, to initially deflect it off Devils goalie Nico Daws, then fought to put in the rebound for the Kings' lead.Anze Kopitar scored a short-handed goal and David Rittich was stout when needed while making 26 saves for Los Angeles, which rebounded from an embarrassing 7-0 loss at Buffalo on Tuesday to win for the third time in four games.Ex-King Tyler Toffoli recorded his team-leading 23rd goal and Daws stopped 27 shots for New Jersey, which is fighting to move into playoff position in the Eastern Conference and had earned five points in its previous three games.The Devils sent 15 shots on net in the third period, but Rittich, who yielded five goals in two periods against the Sabres, stayed calm and kept his team in position to pull ahead.
Bruins look to salvage rough homestand against Kings
The Boston Bruins hope that turning the page to a new game leads to a different result when they host the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth game of a disappointing seven-game homestand on Saturday afternoon.Thursday's 4-1 loss to Seattle marked the Bruins' third straight setback and fourth in a five-game span (1-3-1), but it was not for a lack of effort.Though they were rare for coach Jim Montgomery's club last winter, these types of streaks happen over the course of the marathon that is an 82-game regular season."Happy with a lot of parts of our game (on Thursday)," Montgomery said. "We're not getting the results right now, and sometimes you go through that during the season. We've got to stick together, we've got to keep working, keep grinding."Boston piled up 38 and 37 shots on goal over their past two games but came away with just one point by taking the Tampa Bay Lightning to a shootout on Tuesday.Against the Kraken, the Bruins recorded the first 11 shots of the game but could only muster David Pastrnak's team-leading 34th goal of the season at the 4:54 mark. The winger had actually been on a four-game goal scoring drought prior to Thursday.How can Boston get over the hump? Montgomery believes it will take some grit."It's going to take some sandpaper goals where it goes off of us or stuff and that didn't happen," the coach said. "We had incredible looks. We hit posts. Those things happen. You have nights like that."The Bruins have now gone since Feb. 8 against Vancouver without clinching two points."These kinds of games are tough when you think you deserve a better fate," forward Morgan Geekie said on Thursday. "But, it's a good league, (Seattle is) a good team, so we're just going to try and bounce back on Saturday."The Kings, meanwhile, are 3-1-1 in their past five games, having bounced back from a 7-0 loss at Buffalo on Tuesday to edge past New Jersey 2-1 two nights later.
Sabres trample Kings, 7-0
Jordan Greenway collected two goals and an assist and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves to fuel the host Buffalo Sabres to a 7-0 rout of the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.JJ Peterka recorded a goal and an assist to boost his point total to six (four goals, two assists) in three career meetings vs. the Kings. He had two goals and an assist in the Sabres' 5-3 win in Los Angeles on Jan. 24.Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch each scored and set up a goal on Tuesday. Captain Kyle Okposo and Zach Benson also found the back of the net as the Sabres improved to 18-3-1 in their past 22 home games against the Kings.The offense was more than enough for Luukkonen, who turned aside 15 shots in the third period to preserve his fourth shutout of the season and third in his past eight games.David Rittich yielded five goals on 17 shots before being replaced by Cam Talbot (five saves) for the Kings, who have lost 15 of their past 19 games (4-9-6).Buffalo opened the scoring at 4:25 of the first period following an alert play by Peterka.His initial wrist shot from the slot was denied by Rittich, but the puck squirted behind the goaltender and Peterka circled the net and backhanded it home for his team-leading 19th goal of the season and fifth in as many games.
Devils out to continue run as Kings visit after brutal loss
Both in the mix for a playoff spot, the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils are out to sharpen their consistency over the remainder of the season.While the Devils eye a third straight victory, the visiting Kings are trying to rebound from their worst defeat in nearly two years when the teams meet Thursday at Newark, N.J.Entering play Wednesday, Los Angeles was tied with St. Louis for the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference. However, the Kings followed back-to-back wins, including Saturday's exhilarating 4-0 home win over surging Edmonton, with an embarrassing 7-0 road defeat against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.It was the club's worst defeat since a 7-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Feb. 28, 2022."We're not going to play like that," said interim Kings coach Jim Hiller, whose team failed to score even with 33 shots on goal against the Sabres."We'll figure it out. ... We'll get to the bottom of it, and we'll correct it and get going again."Making his fourth straight start, Los Angeles' David Rittich allowed five goals on 17 shots through the first two periods Tuesday. Cam Talbot entered and yielded two goals on seven shots. Talbot is 0-7-3 with a 3.86 goals-against average over his last 10 starts.The Devils won 3-1 over the Seattle Kraken on Monday and followed with Tuesday's comeback 4-2 victory at Nashville to post consecutive victories for the first time since Jan. 3-5. The Devils trailed the Predators 2-1 after two periods then broke out in the third with two goals from Nico Hischier.New Jersey entered play Wednesday two points behind Detroit for the second and final wild-card position in the East."We're in these games," said the Devils' Timo Meier, who also scored in the third period Tuesday.
Kings to face Sabres with eye on path back to success
The Los Angeles Kings aim to record their second win in as many contests under interim head coach Jim Hiller when they open a four-game road trip against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.The Kings followed up a blistering 20-7-4 start to the season by inexplicably losing 14 of 16 games (2-8-6). They briefly halted that skid with a 4-2 road win against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 31, however the club fired coach Todd McLellan two days later.Los Angeles returned from the All-Star break and turned in a comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday."We've had a tough stretch, so we're just trying to get back to where we were," Hiller said. "This isn't about necessarily (doing anything) new. It's just getting back there, and (Saturday) was a good step."Quinton Byfield collected two goals and an assist on Saturday, boosting his totals to four of each during his five-game point streak."It's all about confidence," Byfield said. "It's been building the whole year. When you got it going, you kind of know you've got it going, and it feels nice. Just being able to be patient, see plays with the puck and be able to know I can make those plays is important for me."Byfield notched an assist in Los Angeles' 5-3 setback at home to Buffalo on Jan. 24. Captain Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe and Pierre-Luc Dubois each scored in the first period for the Kings before the Sabres responded with four unanswered goals.Buffalo followed that with a 5-2 road win against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 27, only to return from its break with a pair of puzzling one-goal performances.Tage Thompson scored the Sabres' lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 6.
Jim Hiller wins coaching debut as Kings top Oilers
David Rittich made 26 saves and Quinton Byfield had two goals and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings made Jim Hiller a winner in his NHL head coaching debut with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.It was Rittich's first shutout of the season and fifth of his career. Rittich, who improved to 6-1-3 this season, hadn't recorded a shutout since Feb. 22, 2021, as a member of the Calgary Flames, blanking the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0.Pierre-Luc Dubois and Trevor Lewis also scored for the Kings, who won their second straight game. The 54-year-old Hiller, an assistant for Los Angeles since July 2022, was named interim head coach after the dismissal of Todd McLellan, who coached the Kings for 4 1/2 seasons, on Feb. 2 after a 3-8-6 stretch.Stuart Skinner finished with 22 saves for Edmonton, which lost for the second time in the last three games after a 16-game winning streak, tied for the second-longest in NHL history.After a scoreless first period that saw Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson rattle a shot off the crossbar and Skinner make a glove save on Kevin Fiala's close-in shot by the right post, Los Angeles scored twice in 49 seconds early in the second period.Dubois made it 1-0 with a power-play goal at the 2:38 mark when he knuckled a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot through traffic and under Skinner's right arm for his 11th goal of the season.
Kings open play under interim coach vs. sizzling Oilers
The Jim Hiller Era begins for the Los Angeles Kings when they host the red-hot Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.Hiller was named interim head coach for Los Angeles on Feb. 2, replacing Todd McLellan, who was fired after 4 1/2 seasons behind the bench. Hiller, 54, had been an assistant under McLellan since July 2022. He played 63 career NHL games in the early 1990s, including 40 with the Kings.Los Angeles, which started the season with a 20-7-4 mark, is just 3-8-6 in its past 17 games, a stretch that included an eight-game losing streak (0-4-4). The Kings come in off a nine-day break for the All-Star Game and their bye week following a 4-2 win at Nashville on Jan. 31.Despite the recent slump, the Kings head into the Saturday contest still holding the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference."I'll say it like this -- we are a really good team," Hiller told reporters after conducting his first practice. "We have struggled, we're not going to hide from that. But I think it would be a mistake to overreact in some areas of the game when I don't think that's necessary."The most important thing for me after being around the team, which played very well for the first 24 games of the season, is just getting our frame of mind back where it needs to be."Los Angeles center Phillip Danault said, "We got kind of lazy in the last month. I know we played a lot of games, but we didn't have many practices. Todd didn't have a lot of chances to get us back on track."Hiller probably couldn't ask for a tougher challenge for his head-coaching debut. Edmonton has won 17 of its past 18 games, including a 16-game winning streak that matched the second-longest run in league history.
Slumping Kings fire head coach Todd McLellan
The slumping Los Angeles Kings fired head coach Todd McLellan on Friday.The Kings won only three of their last 17 games (3-8-6) before the current NHL All-Star break.Assistant coach Jim Hiller was named the interim coach for the rest of the season.McLellan, 56, joined Los Angeles in 2019-20 and was 164-130-44 in four-plus seasons."We want to thank Todd for his hard work and dedication to the organization," Kings general manager Rob Blake said in a statement. "He has done a tremendous job in moving us forward and making a positive impact on our group and in our community. This was not an easy decision, but we felt the change was necessary at this time."Jim is a well-respected member of our staff who is familiar with our players. We are confident in his ability to lead our team effectively during this pivotal time."
Alex Turcotte's first points propel Kings past Predators
Alex Turcotte picked up his first NHL points with a goal and an assist as the visiting Los Angeles Kings beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 on Wednesday in the final game before the All-Star break for both teams.David Rittich made 39 saves for Los Angeles, which had lost four straight (0-2-2). The Kings also got goals from Carl Grundstrom, Trevor Lewis and Kevin Fiala.Filip Forsberg and Philip Tomasino scored for the Predators, who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Juuse Saros made 20 saves.Grundstrom gave the Kings a 1-0 lead at 8:51 of the first period. He controlled a loose puck at center ice, entered the offensive zone two-on-one with Turcotte, kept the puck and beat Saros with a wrist shot from the right circle for his first goal since Nov. 25.Turcotte, the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft, made it 2-0 at 5:36 of the second period. Moore went the length of the ice with the puck before passing from the slot to Turcotte, who scored on a high wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle.Turcotte was appearing in his second NHL game of the season, the 14th of his career.Tyson Barrie appeared to pull the Predators within 2-1 soon after, but the Kings challenged the play. After a video review, the goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference.Saros stopped Anze Kopitar on a short-handed breakaway attempt early in the third period.
Slumping Kings catch Predators coming off tough loss
The reeling Los Angeles Kings will aim to enter the All-Star break on a high note when they visit the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.The Kings have lost four straight and are 2-8-6 in their past 16 games. Despite that, they are still in the thick of the wild-card competition in the Western Conference.Nashville is struggling as well, having lost two straight and four of five (1-3-1). They entered Wednesday with 54 points and tied with the Kings in the wild-card race.The Predators will be looking to shake off a bad loss. Nashville opened a 3-0 first-period lead against the Ottawa Senators on Monday but ended up losing 4-3 in overtime to complete a three-game road trip."They wanted it a little bit more in the second period. I thought fatigue set in (for us)," Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said. "We've gone on a bit of a stretch here and our legs weren't quite there, and then our brains shut off in a few situations, faceoffs, gave up two faceoff goals, kind of easy offense."Brunette, however, praised his team for its play down the stretch and ultimately earning a point.Philip Tomasino had a goal and an assist for Nashville, Michael McCarron and Yakov Trenin scored and Juuse Saros made 31 saves, including 14 in the third period to preserve the 3-3 tie."He's awesome," Tomasino said. "That's how he plays every night. We're lucky to have him, and if he wasn't in net (Monday) it may have been even worse."Predators defenseman Roman Josi had two assists in his 10th multi-point game of the season and the fourth in his last nine outings.The Kings are also coming off a 4-3 overtime loss, on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Phillip Danault, Adrian Kempe and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for the Kings, and David Rittich made 28 saves.Los Angeles was penalized six times in the seesaw contest and allowed one St. Louis power-play goal.
Blues get past Kings in OT to extend winning streak
Brayden Schenn scored at 1:04 of overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 win against the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon.Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists, Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist, Scott Perunovich had two assists and Joel Hofer made 29 saves for St. Louis, which has won a season-high five straight games.Adrian Kempe, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Phillip Danault scored and David Rittich made 28 saves for the Kings, who are 2-8-6 in their past 16 games.Schenn ended the game when he scored on a partial breakaway to improve the Blues to 12-1-2 in games decided by one goal this season, the best winning percentage in the NHL.Kempe gave the Kings a 1-0 lead at 4:06 of the first period.Kempe helped prevent the Blues from exiting their zone and the puck went to Anze Kopitar along the wall. Kopitar skated into the left circle and did a 360-degree spin before making a backhand pass to Kempe and he scored with a wrist shot from the inside edge of the left circle.Nick Leddy tied it 1-1 at 12:51 of the first periodKyrou brought the puck behind the Los Angeles net and passed to Leddy above the left circle. He skated into the high slot and scored with a slap shot.
'Resilient' Blues riding winning streak with slumping Kings up next
The St. Louis Blues will try to run their winning streak to a season-best five games when they host the struggling Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon.The Blues are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Seattle Kraken on Friday to cap a successful three-game road trip."At home or on the road, we just want to give ourselves a chance (to) win hockey games," Blues coach Drew Bannister said. "These are big points."Los Angeles, meanwhile, limps into the St. Louis after losing 5-1 at the Colorado Avalanche on Friday to kick off its three-game road trip.The Kings have stumbled badly since coming out of the Christmas break, going 2-8-5 in their past 15 games to leave them teetering on the final playoff spot with St. Louis just one point behind."It's getting hard to get our pace and our confidence going into the game, and we have to get back to trusting each other," Kings forward Phillip Danault said. "Running out of solutions."When the Kings beat the visiting Blues 5-1 on Nov. 18, they were playing their best hockey of the season, but systematic failures at both ends of the ice have sent them spiraling."I think just the little details that we had going at the start of the year have gotten a little more lax," Los Angeles defenseman Mikey Anderson said. "All the way through, starting maybe with the back end. We talk about breakouts and then it kind of leads its way up to everything else. Obviously, we know we have a good group in here, we have the right pieces, but at the same time, we've got to start taking ownership of it as a group and then turning this around."The Blues have recently shown the type of resiliency that the Kings displayed in their first 25 games.Twice on the recently concluded road trip, St. Louis rallied from two goals down to earn a victory."We're committed more to the standards that we're asking from our guys and we're starting to see that," Bannister said. "And that has to do with resiliency, but I think guys are just more focused on what they can control right now, and the things that we can't control aren't a distraction."
Nathan MacKinnon keeps home streak going as Avs top Kings
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to extend his home point streak to 25 games, Logan O'Connor scored twice, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the slumping Los Angeles Kings 5-1 in Denver on Friday night.MacKinnon moved past Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov for the NHL lead in scoring with 84 points. He finished January with 12 goals and 14 assists.Cale Makar also had a goal, Ross Colton added two assists and Alexandar Georgiev turned away 26 shots for Colorado, which heads into a nine-day break with three straight wins.Kevin Fiala scored, Cam Talbot had nine saves on 12 shots before giving way to David Rittich, who turned away 17 shots for Los Angeles. The Kings are 2-8-5 in their last 15 games.O'Connor got the Avalanche started when he skated into the Los Angeles zone to the top of the left circle and snapped a shot past Talbot on the far side at 7:44 of the first period.He made it 2-0 when he beat Talbot again at 14:55 of the first. It was his 13th of the season, which is a career high.MacKinnon made it 3-0 when he skated to the right circle and sent a shot on net that went off the bottom of Talbot's blocker and in at 18:30. It was his 31st of the season.