The Los Angeles Kings returned to Staples Center to honor past great Tony Granato by beating his Detroit Red Wings 1-0 on Tuesday night — Granato is currently on the Red Wings’ coaching staff as an assistant coach. The win elevated their season-high winning streak to eight consecutive games.
Right winger Justin Williams set the tone of the game by scoring his 16th goal of the season at the 2:24 mark in the first period on a power play. After that, goalie Jonathan Quick and the Kings’ defense took care of the rest.
“The power play scored a big goal early to give us the early lead,” Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said. “If you’re aware of stats and actual real stats that matter, both teams are very good defensive teams. They don’t give up much and that’s exactly how the game played out.”
The Red Wings had many opportunities to score and get ahead of the Kings in the game with five power plays. They lead the NHL in power play goals with 53 but could not convert on any of them against the Kings.
The Kings have killed 20 consecutive penalties in a streak that has spanned the last six games. They are 6-0 during that streak.
“They have one of the top power-plays in the league,” Quick said, “and we really cut down their chances. They had about four or five power-plays, so that says a lot about our group. We took away time and space, we were good up-ice, and we were good through the neutral zone.”
The Kings won the face-off battle 33-21 and outshot the Red Wings 27-20. Quick stopped all 20 shots for the 200th shutout in Kings history, his 35th of his career.
“It just feels like some nights you see the saves he makes and you think he isn’t going to let anyone score tonight, Williams said. “He’s been a rock throughout this win streak, and he will continue to be.”
The Kings return to the ice on Thursday as the take on the Ottawa Senators. Their streak has catapulted them into playoff position but still with very little margin of error in the highly competitive Western Conference. The mantra remains the same for the Kings.
“It’s the middle of the season,” Quick said. “We’re just playing one game at a time. It’s not about the streak; we’re just trying to get into the playoffs. We are only in the playoffs right now by a fraction, and there is still a lot of hockey to play.”
Nolan gets paid
Prior to their 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings have signed center Jordan Nolan to a three-year contract extension. The dollar amount has yet to be announced by Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.
Nolan has appeared in 170 career NHL regular season games so far this season, totaling 24 points (14-10=24) and 155 penalty minutes. He was picked in the seventh round (186th overall selection) by the Kings in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and has been a part of both of the team’s Stanley Cup runs in 2012 and 2014.