Southern California's hockey teams are off to fast starts. Through Monday, the Ducks (5-1) have won five consecutive games and are tied for the most wins in the NHL, and the Kings (4-1-1) are riding a four-game winning streak. Here are some of the reasons for their winning ways early in the season.
NHLI via Getty ImagesAaron Poole
Goaltending has been tremendous
For the Ducks, Frederik Andersen just earned the NHL's second star of the week, and he hasn't lost a start yet. He went 4-0-0 with a 1.22 goals-against-average with a .955 save percentage and one shutout last week. Jonathan Quick (pictured) has been the MVP of the Kings season thus far. He saved the Kings in their last two games as he had a combined 83 saves in the Kings' shootout win over St. Louis and a 2-1 win over Minnesota. Quick has a 1.86 goals-against-average and a .951 save percentage.
The Kings have feasted on home cooking, winning 4 of 5 games at Staples Center this season. The only home game they lost was the opener against San Jose, and that was after an emotional banner raising ceremony with the Stanley Cup in the house. The Ducks won three of their first four games on the road. After losing at Pittsburgh to open the season, Anaheim hasn't lost since and leads the Pacific Division in the Western Conference and is tied for the NHL lead for most wins with five.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsEric Hartline
Ducks winning with veterans, Kings flexing scoring muscle with young guns
The Kings have been grooving on offense with that 70s Line, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli (both pictured) and Tanner Pearson, as 11 of the team's 14 goals have come from that trio. Young guns Toffoli and Pearson are restricted free agents after this season. For the Ducks, they've found their offensive rhythm with the veteran stars, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. The two have combined for seven goals and eight assists. They have 15 of the Ducks' 52 points this season, which is nearly one-third of the team's offensive production. Perry had his 51st career game-winning goal against the Wild on Friday.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo
Coaches have players believing in a loaded Western Conference
Kings coach Darryl Sutter (pictured) and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau have different styles, but their gleaning similar results. Boudreau smiles a lot more often than Sutter, but they both focus on ways to improve, even in winning. Both have preached how every point matters in a tough conference. Sutter knows his team must shoot more and not put so much pressure on the penalty kill unit and Quick. Boudreau was proud of the Ducks' comeback win last Sunday but quick to point out that they'll make changes to try to get more offensive production.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
Special teams are big factor, both teams benefiting
The Kings penalty kill unit has been on fire. The Kings killed all five penalties in the win over the Wild on Sunday, including two in the third period. They've killed their last 14 consecutive penalties and 86 percent on the season. The Ducks are benefiting from the blockbuster summer trade in which they landed Ryan Kesler (pictured). His contributions were evident, especially on special teams from the first game, where the Ducks were 3-of-6 on the power play in a loss. The Ducks have six power play goals and killed 83 percent of their penalties.