Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 33 @ Ottawa
December 14, 2013
11am PST (2pm EST)
After losing to Calgary to end November, the Los Angeles Kings have reeled off five straight wins to start December and look to continue that as they visit Ottawa for a date with the Senators for a rare 11am start for everyone on the west coast.
This will be the second and final meeting between the Kings and Sens with Los Angeles winning at Staples Center, a 4-3 overtime win, back on October 9. While they did surrender a three-goal lead in that game, the Kings showed their unwavering resilience coming together when it mattered most. While they don’t wish to squander another significant lead, the Kings do hope to improve to 3-0 on their current road trip.
After making it to the second round last spring, the Senators have been inconsistent this season. At 13-14-6, they currently sit three points out of the second and final wild card spot in the East while going a ho-hum 4-4-2 in their last 10. In addition, the Senators are just 6-8-2 at the Canadian Tire Centre this season which may bode well for a Kings squad that boasts an 11-3-2 record away from home.
Despite their struggles, the Sens are led in scoring by a familiar rival in Bobby Ryan who leads the club with 15 goals and 15 assists. In fact, Ryan scored a goal and an assist in the last meeting between these two clubs and earned the second star of the game just over two months ago in Los Angeles.
On top of Ryan’s contributions, Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris each have at least 25 points thus far and when they’re on, it can prove to be very difficult to stop them.
As for the Kings, they continue to quietly ascend atop the NHL’s power rankings and while the offense has been gradually better as of late, it is the play of Martin Jones that is leaving everyone with their jaws to the floor.
As per the Elias Sports Bureau, Jones has become the first netminder in NHL history to average less than one goal per game while winning his first four career starts. Last game in Toronto, Jones saw his shutout streak end at 177:16 but will hope to start a new one on Saturday afternoon (or morning depending on where you are) and maybe even shoot for his third-straight first star of the game.
Los Angeles begins their second back-to-back schedule in less than a week as they hope to kick this one off on a winning note.
Can the silver-and-black make it six straight? We’ll see.
Enjoy the game!