The LA Kings defeat the Seattle Kraken in the first-ever meeting between the two franchises. Here are three things recapping the win for LA.
The LA Kings extend their winning streak to four games after a 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday. Led by Cal Petersen and strong defensive performance, the Kings move into the second spot in the Pacific Division.
LA now heads off to San Jose with 20 wins under their belt.
LAK: Phillip Danault (9), Assists: Trevor Moore (13), Viktor Arvidsson (13)
Shots on goal:
Here are three things that stood out in Saturday’s game:
1. Cal Petersen quietly saves the Kings
Despite the shot volume being unusually low for both the Kings and the Kraken, Petersen came up big for LA in Seattle on Saturday night. The 27-year-old goalie suited up for his 15th game of the season and recorded his eighth win with a .944 save percentage.
Petersen may not have had too many shots taken on him, but he stood tall and managed to get his team the win. It was plays like this that made him such a factor in the win:
Those types of interceptions don’t count as shots for the opposition, but it does help break up plays and help the defense break the puck out of the zone. That’s an example of how goalies can be the third defenseman in hockey.
Petersen finished with 1.41 GSAx (goals saved above expected) and was easily one of the Kings’ best players in the game. With Petersen’s win, he continues to stay undefeated in the new year and moves up to a .967 save percentage in 2022. He’s also only allowed two goals in 180 minutes of hockey since the start of January.
Could we finally see Petersen re-shape back into his 2020-21 self after a disappointing start to the season? Let’s hope so. These types of wins can help a goaltender regain confidence, so hopefully, this is the Cal Petersen we can get used to… again.
2. It was an off-game for the Kings
There is definitely an argument to be made when someone says that both teams looked a little slow and a bit sloppy in Saturday’s game. But the LA Kings looked more out-of-order than they have recently.
For starters, LA only had 22 shots on net. Before the game against the Kraken, the Kings had four straight games where they had 35 plus shots on goal, and 30 or more shots the two games before that.
It wasn’t the prettiest win of the season for LA, but the two points are all that matters.
There were a couple of players who had disappointing games, like Rasmus Kupari, Sean Durzi, and basically the entire fourth line, but this shouldn’t be an issue. On the other hand, Danault had one of his best offensive games in a Kings jersey, as he finished the night first in xG on the team, third in Corsi, and fourth in Fenwick (number of unblocked shot attempts for) per MoneyPuck:
Not to mention his two goals, one being on even strength, and the other in an empty net.
Trevor Moore also hasn’t slowed down, as he recorded two assists on the night, extending his point streak to four games.
All-star Adrian Kempe also scored a pretty impressive opening goal when he tapped the puck in after he directed the puck towards the net with his skate.
Kempe is now up to 17 goals on the season, which happens to be a new career-high.
3. Time to call up Quinton Byfield
While the Kings were busy beating the newest NHL franchise in their first meet-up, Quinton Byfield was busy with the Ontario Reign in Henderson, scoring another goal:
After an icy start to his season post-injury, Quinton Byfield has goals in 4 of the last 5, and points in 5 straight.— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) January 16, 2022
Showed the silky hands in front tonight pic.twitter.com/K7JsMyC0Hh
Byfield has turned into a monster ever since he got healthy, and has six points in his last four AHL games. Four of those points are goals.
We’ve rooted for Alex Turcotte to make his debut, and we finally got to see it. Despite not scoring as much as we’d like him to, he’s been a physical and energetic addition.
He arguably played his best game against the Kraken on Saturday night. If Byfield continues scoring at this rate in the AHL, it should indicate that he is, in fact, ready for the NHL. The 6-foot-4 Byfield was likely to have made the team out of camp until he suffered an ankle injury. He has been impressive in his return from the injury.
The time is now. The Kings should call up Byfield because he can be a difference-maker. He has officially proven himself in the AHL, and now he wants to prove he can do the same in the NHL.
The red-hot Kings will play at home on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.