LA Kings Jonathan Quick

Photo Credit: Alex Cave / Hockey Royalty

The LA Kings dominated for the majority of the game, outshooting the Chicago Blackhawks 36-16 en route to a 4-1 victory on Thursday.

With LA Rams night being held at the Arena last night, it’s only fitting that the LA Kings came out victorious, just as the football club did back in February.

The Kings dominated for the majority of the game, outshooting the Chicago Blackhawks, 36-16, and out chancing them 77-33 in shot attempts. Yeah, you read that right. The Kings had more shots on goal than the Blackhawks had shot attempts…

The Kings opened the scoring while on the power play in the first period, with Phillip Danault doing what he does best, being a gritty net-front presence.

He ended up getting a stick on the puck and scored his 26th goal of the season. Rumour has it that if you visit Montreal you can still hear people saying the Canadiens don’t need him because he can’t score.

In the second period, Alexander Edler, who was celebrating his birthday last night, took a point shot, which was re-directed by Anze Kopitar to put the LA Kings up by two goals.

Late in the third period, Patrick Kane ended up scoring on the power play. The Kings challenged it for offsides, but lost and received another penalty, but held the Blackhawks to zero shots on goal.

In the third period, Andreas Athanasiou found himself on a breakaway and pulled off a nifty dangle on Californian native and Blackhawks goaltender Collin Delia, to regain the two-goal lead for the Kings.

Just 15 seconds after that, Trevor Moore found himself in a nice passing play with Viktor Arvidsson and buried it to put the Kings up, 4-1.

The final score finished at 4-1, as the Kings finish the season series against the Blackhawks, 2-0-1, gaining five of a possible six points.

Jonathan Quick saved 15 of 16 shots, good for a .938 save percentage and 0.94 GSAx. He received praise from Alexander Edler in the post-game, who says he rarely makes mistakes and is very easy to play in front of.

“Real good recovery after the goal against, good penalty,” head coach Todd McLellan said following the game. “[…] I thought we had a little more aggressiveness in our game.”

Three takeaways:

1. Five-game goal-scoring streak for Danault

With his first-period power play goal, Phillip Danault has now scored in five straight games, which is the longest goal-scoring streak of his NHL career.

Ironically enough, the streak started with a goal in Chicago back on April 12th in that 5-2 win.

Danault has especially enjoyed playing against the Blackhawks this season, with four goals and five points through three games against them. Seems like he steps it up a notch when playing against the team that drafted him.

2. Jonathan Quick solidifying his starting spot for Game 1 of the postseason?

While the Kings haven’t had a starting goaltender all season long, splitting between a tandem of Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen, it looks pretty likely that the Los Angeles legend in Quick will get the start in the postseason, assuming the Kings make it to that stage.

Quick has won three straight games, posting a .938, .955, and .967, and allowing just one goal in each game. He’s also got the playoff experience on his resume to back it up and is known for being clutch when it matters most.

I’m not a betting man, I’m just kidding, I am, and if I could, I’d bet on Quick being in the crease for the beginning of the first round.

3. Playoffs… or?

With last night’s win, the Kings’ playoff odds improved to 94.5%, as they sit five points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights with three games remaining, however, the players and staff are not celebrating yet.

“Yeah, definitely [still] just one game at a time,” Alexander Edler said when asked if that was still the mindset for the Kings. “I mean, we’re still battling for a playoff spot here. We’re still only looking ahead to the next game.”

“They’re all tough games. We’ve had some experience over the last few years of being that non-playoff team and we played hard,” Todd McLellan said when asked about the Kings playing all teams out of the playoff picture for the final three games.

As the late Kobe Bryant would say, job’s not finished.

(Main photo credit: Alex Cave / Hockey Royalty)

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