The LA Kings got back into the win column on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Seattle. Todd McLellan‘s group improved to 15-4-0 in games following a loss since December 5.

With Edmonton losing, the Kings also extended their second-place lead to four points with 15 games remaining.

“This is the playoffs for us and we’ve shown signs of growth during it,” McLellan said in the postgame presser. “It’s going to have to continue for whatever we have left.”


1st Period

LAK – Vilardi (2), Assists Maatta (5)

2nd Period

LAK – Kopitar (17), Assists Iafallo (18), Kempe (17)

SEA – Sprong (10), Assists Soucy (8)

LAK – Spence (1), Assists Kaliyev (10), Lizotte (11)

3rd Period

LAK – Durzi (3), Assists Kopitar (40), Kempe (13)

SEA – Geekie (6), Assists Borgen (2)

1. Olli Maatta appreciation takeaway

How good has Olli Maatta been in the second half of this season? He’s really upped his game when the Kings needed him most, including a beautiful assist on the game’s first goal.

After Rasmus Kupari retrieved his own backhand shot on net, the Finnish forward dished it to a streaking Gabe Vilardi, who was entering the offensive zone from the bench.

In what was essentially a give-and-go, Vilardi passed the puck to Maatta, who fired it toward Vilardi’s stick, and it was re-directed past Philipp Grubauer. The goal marked Vilardi’s first NHL goal since October 22, 2021.

”That was great by [Kupari], I actually didn’t see what happened, I just saw that the puck came out and I was coming off the bench,” Vilardi said after the game. “I saw Olli there and that we had a 2-on-1 against [their defender]. He made a great play to me and my job was easy.”

2. First NHL goal for Jordan Spence

Since being called up, Jordan Spence has shown why the Kings took him in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL draft. On Saturday, he was finally rewarded for his hard work, earning his first NHL goal in the second period.

Before being hit, Kaliyev managed to dish the puck back up to the point for Spence, who wasted little time, firing a shot through some traffic and finding the back of the net. On the play, it looked like Carl Grundstrom was trying to get out of the way, perfectly screening Grubauer in the process.

At any rate, the goal marked Spence’s first in his NHL career. Hope someone grabbed the puck!

“It feels amazing. Just going into the game, I just wanted to focus on the simple things […] it was good to see that shot went in, it was an unbelievable feeling. I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Spence said of his goal.

3. Sean Durzi continues to impress

With a 4-on-3 power-play opportunity early in the third period, it was a big moment in the game. At the time, the Kings led by two goals; another would give them some much-needed separation.

After Kopitar’s shot attempt went wide of the net, Sean Durzi took advantage of a lively endboard, receiving the puck and burying it home.

It was Durzi’s first goal since January 13 and first PPG since November 24 (his debut).

With the primary assist, Kopitar is up to 40 assists on the season, marking the 12th time in his 16-year career he’s had at least 40 assists in a season. Amazing.

The Kings are back at it against this same Kraken team on Monday.

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