The Toronto Maple Leafs got a taste of their own medicine on Wednesday night.
Usually their games involve them getting outplayed and pinned in their own zone, chasing the puck all night, and somehow finding a way to pull out a win they probably didn't deserve. The exact opposite happened in their 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, a game that might have been Toronto's best 60-minute effort of the year.
They just didn't get the result.
Kings rookie goalie Martin Jones was perhaps the biggest reason why, as he was outstanding in net once again, pushing his record to 4-0 on the season and increasing his save percentage to an absurd .974. He's allowed three goals in four starts this season and only once allowed more than one goal in a single game.
It was the 17th straight game the Kings did not allow a goal in the first period, as well as the 17th straight game they limited a team to two goals or fewer through regulation. And they're doing it without their starting goaltender, Jonathan Quick, as he remains sidelined with a groin injury.
All the NHL Scores
Kings 3, Maple Leafs 1
Blackhawks 7, Flyers 2
On Wednesday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will the Kings get another shutout?
So close. Martin Jones had his shutout streak end at 177 minutes thanks to a Cody Franson power play goal in the second period, but that was the only shot Toronto would get past him on the night. In their last three games, all started by Jones, the Kings have allowed one goal. They've outscored their opponents 12-1 over that stretch.
2. How will the Maple Leafs defense perform without Dion Phaneuf?
They actually played really well for the most part, with the one exception being the Mark Fraser-Paul Ranger pairing. The Maple Leafs, one of the worst possession teams in the league, actually outplayed a superior team for much of the night and as mentioned about it was probably their best performance of the season. They simply could not beat the other goalie; and on the rare occasion that Toronto's defense did make a mistake on Wednesday, it just so happened to end up in the back of the net. Those are the breaks sometimes.
3. Will the Flyers allow fewer than four goals?
Not even close. The Blackhawks took over this game in the second period and scored five goals on 11 shots, then added two more in the third period when the Flyers kept taking penalties. At one point even the Blackhawks' goal-scorers were even ending up in the net. The Flyers' goalies, Steve Mason and Ray Emery, have been outstanding this season and been a big part of their ability to hang around in the playoff race after a terrible start to the season, but they've been experiencing a bit of a regression the past three games, allowing 19 goals. They've lost each game.
4. Will Patrick Kane continue his point streak?
He most certainly did, and it was another multiple-point game. Kane added two assists in the win and extended his current point streak to seven games. Four of those games have been multiple-point efforts. His 42 points this season are good enough for second in the NHL as he now trails Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby by just one point.
5. Will Anaheim continue its point streak on home ice?
Another home game for the Ducks, another win. With their 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night Anaheim improved its home record 12-0-2 on the season and are still the only team in the league to have earned at least a point in every home game this season.
The one play or moment from Wednesday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
It has to be the play of Martin Jones in net for the Kings. On Wednesday it wasn't just necessarily the number of saves he had to make, but the fact that many of them were quality chances including a couple of great looks for Phil Kessel and a quick rebound on the doorstep from Nikolai Kulemin in the first period that required an incredible kick save from the rookie goalie. With the way Ben Scrivens and Jones are playing in net this might be the deepest goaltending situation in the league.
Stat of the Night
The Chicago Blackhawks have played 34 games this season, and they have scored at least five goals in 15 of those games, including their seven goal performance against the Flyers on Wednesday. That is one powerhouse hockey team that is as entertaining as it is great.
Post to Post
- Busy day on the NHL discipline front as Richard Panik of the Tampa Bay Lightning was suspended for two games.
- The Ottawa Senators' Jared Cowen received the same punishment.
- Do the Boston Bruins reap what they sow?
- Should Reid Boucher stay in New Jersey?