Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 30 @ Ottawa, December 14, 2015, 4:30pm PST
While their six-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday, the Los Angeles Kings were able to keep their point streak intact, extending it to nine. Now, with the first half of their road trip in the books, the silver-and-black close out the final three contests north of the border, beginning on Monday night in Ottawa to take on the 15-10-5 Senators.
The Kings and Sens split their two-game series last season with the visiting club winning on both occasions. The Kings won by a 5-3 count in Canada’s capital on Dec. 11 but it was Ottawa who ended Los Angeles’s season-high eight-game winning streak, edging them by a 1-0 count on Feb. 26 at STAPLES Center.
In the latter contest, Ottawa netminder Andrew Hammond was the story, stopping all 35 Kings shots en route to the shutout, but Jonathan Quick was almost as formidable as he stopped 27 shots in a losing effort. Mike Hoffman, who is currently tied for fourth in the NHL with 15 goals, scored the lone tally that night.
Monday marks the first of two meetings between the Kings and Sens this season. Both are coming off Saturday-night losses with the Sens falling 5-3 in Montreal. Some good news for the Sens, though — and possibly bad news for the Kings — is that the aforementioned Andrew Hammond is back from his conditioning stint in the AHL. The netminder they dub “Hamburglar” has been sidelined with a head injury in recent weeks and while he did allow four goals in each of his starts in the American League, he should be ready to go for Monday.
The Sens enter Monday’s action tied with Boston for third-place in the Northeast Division while the Kings are looking to extend their 10-point lead in the Pacific, their largest division lead in 35 years.
After Jhonas Enroth got the start in Buffalo last game, the Kings will be turning to Jonathan Quick again. In seven career games against the Senators, Quick has posted a 5-2-0 record with a 2.01 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and one shutout. Plus, his latter loss was no fault of his. The 2012 Conn Smythe winner will only be hoping for more offensive support from his team this time.
While Hoffman does lead the Sens in goals thus far, Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan are leading the way in points. Last year’s Norris Trophy winner, Karlsson has six goals and 26 helpers for 32 points this season while Ryan, a familiar adversary of the silver-and-black, enters Monday’s contest with nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points.
While they look to extend their point streak, the Los Angeles Kings will be more focused on starting a new winning streak. It won’t be easy but after a day of much-needed rest, expect the Kings to enter Canadian Tire Centre on a mission.
Enjoy the game!