The Los Angeles Kings have a bit of a goaltending overload at
the moment even with starter Jonathan Quick on injured reserve.
It hasn’t much mattered whether it’s been Ben Scrivens or rookie
Martin Jones filling in for the injured Quick lately, and the Kings
will try to extend their season-best winning streak to six games
Saturday in Ottawa.
The Kings (21-7-4) have allowed five goals in five games, and
it’s been Jones starring in net for the last four. He made his NHL
debut Dec. 3 in a 3-2 shootout victory at Anaheim and improved to
4-0-0 with Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Toronto.
“I’m starting to get a little more comfortable out there,” Jones
told the team’s official website. “I don’t think today was my most
solid game that I’ve had, some rebounds here and there. I know
there’s a lot of work to do, not every game is going to go as good
as these last few.”
It didn’t go as well as his shutouts against the New York
Islanders and Montreal, but Jones stopped 38 Toronto shots and now
has a 0.74 goals-against average and .974 save percentage to start
Scrivens has had an extended layoff after starting 10 straight
games when Quick went down with a groin injury on Nov. 12. In 15
games, he has a 1.56 GAA and league-leading .943 save
Goaltending aside, the Kings weren’t thrilled with their most
recent win. They were outshot 18-7 in the third, but Los Angeles
forwards Jeff Carter and Kyle Clifford scored to secure the
Defenseman Drew Doughty scored a power-play goal midway through
the first to give the Kings their first lead.
“Tonight was (the) worst game we’ve played as a team in a little
while and we still pulled off the win,” Doughty said. “It just
shows no matter what, we’re just going to try and get those two
points even though we’re not satisfied how we’re playing.”
Mike Richards had two assists and has seven during the Kings’
winning streak to tie him for the team lead of 27 points with Anze
Kopitar. Richards has 23 points in 23 career games against the
Senators, including a pair of assists in Los Angeles’ 4-3 home
overtime win over Ottawa on Oct. 9.
The Kings blew a 3-0 lead in that game before winning for the
fifth time in their last six against the Senators.
Ottawa (13-14-6) also leaned on its goaltender in Thursday’s 2-1
home win over Buffalo. Craig Anderson made 40 saves to regain some
confidence after a seven-game stretch in which he had a 3.77 GAA
and .866 save percentage.
“Our goaltender obviously made a conscious decision that he was
going to be competitive and gave us a chance to win,” Senators
coach Paul MacLean said.
Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist to bump his team-leading
point total to 30 in 33 games, which matches his 46-game mark from
last season. Ryan also had a goal and an assist two months ago
against the Kings.
The Senators are 2-0-2 in their last four.
“We’ve had a good week, but we can’t be satisfied with that,”
Anderson said. “This week means nothing if we don’t continue with
the progress for the next game.”
They’ll be short-handed defensively as Jared Cowen concludes his
two-game suspension while fellow blue-liner Marc Methot missed
Thursday’s game with the flu and is questionable.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene hasn’t played since Nov. 2 with an
upper-body injury, though he joined the team on this four-game trip
and is questionable.