The Ottawa Senators behind Mike Hoffman’s goal and the stellar play of Andrew Hammond, ended the Los Angeles Kings eight game winning streak with a 1-0 loss.
Ottawa also ended Kings goalie Jonathan Quick‘s shutout streak at 142 minutes, 44 seconds. Quick stopped 27 shots in his 16th consecutive start for the Kings, and just came short of matching the longest winning streak in franchise history with nine.
The 27-year old Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, completed his second straight shutout with 35 saves against the Kings in just his fourth start.
“The biggest thing for me is that I finally feel like I’m finally at a point where I kind of have structure in my game,” Hammond said. “I’m actually able to have structure to my game.”
After a defensive effort at goal by both teams, Hoffman off the assist from Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan scored 1:40 in the third period that proved to be the game winner. Hammond was able to scoot around the defense of Kings’ Robyn Regehr and Drew Doughty, in order to score his 21st goal of the season.
“The boys are feeling good as you can tell in our play,” Hoffman said. “We’re playing solid and we’re playing well in the D-zone. Our goalie has been our player the last couple of game, which definitely helps into the California trip because these teams are pretty good.”
The defensive breakdown in the third period, cost the Kings an opportunity in points and became slightly concerning for Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.
“Our defense was really slow moving pucks in the first period and in the second we passed the puck to them, it probably should have been 2-1 them after that and then in the third we just couldn’t get a goal.”
Kings right winger Justin Williams goal was waved off in the second period, when the referees could not conclusively see the loose puck.
That call was a game changer, yet the team had four power play opportunities and still were unable to find the back of the net.
“Tonight we had our fair share looks; their goalie was up to task,” Kings forward Dwight King said. “We just have to find ways to get rebounds; tonight’s that was probably the big thing.”
On a brighter note, newly acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera met with the media during the first intermission, and looked forward to joining the ice with his defending Stanley Cup champion teammates.
“It’s a great environment like that, and I look forward to being in it,” Sekera said. He will see time on the ice on Friday as they’ll take on the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
This Freeway Faceoff has a lot more at hand than just city bragging rights, the Kings must continue to be focused in that playoff mode.
“It’s a huge game, division game,” Tyler Toffoli said. “We have got to be ready to play a full 60 minutes tomorrow.”
The last time the Kings won eight straight games they went on to become Stanley Cup Champions. Quick owned a 2.18 GAA while winning five of six career games against the Senators. The Senators haven’t won a game in Los Angeles against the Kings since January 2000. Former UFC champion Chuck Liddell was in attendance to help promote UFC 148 and the Rhonda Rousey / Cat Zigano fight on February 28th at Staples Center.