It seems that the Los Angeles Kings' game plan over the past few weeks has been to try and win every game 1-0. It wasn't working out very well.
On Monday, they finally succeeded and snapped their five-game losing streak with a win in San Jose thanks to a goal by Anze Kopitar and the 28th career shutout for Jonathan Quick.
It was everything that every Kings game has been over the past month. Slow, a lot of dump and chance, and no offense for anybody. You have to think that at some point Los Angeles will start finding the back of the net with a little more regularity (it's too talented of a team not to), but this was not that the night it was going to start. Fortunately for the Kings they did enough to keep the Sharks off the board and escape with two needed points.
Elsewhere in the NHL on Monday, the Hurricanes came from behind to beat Columbus and jump ahead of the Blue Jackets in the standings, the Avalanche cooled off the Stars, and Pittsburgh continued its dominance on home ice with a shutout win over the Buffalo Sabres.
The Canucks didn't have an answer for David Perron as he netted a hat trick for the Oilers in a 4-2 Edmonton win.
We also found out that if you try to enter the zone against Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller you're probably going to get hit. Hard. Very hard.
All the NHL Scores
Bruins 6, Islanders 3
Hurricanes 3, Blue Jackets 2
Penguins 3, Sabres 0
Avalanche 4, Stars 3
Kings 1, Sharks 0
Oilers 4, Canucks 2
On Monday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will the New York Islanders allow three goals or more against the Boston Bruins?
They not only allowed three, they went ahead and doubled it in a 6-3 loss to the Bruins. Starter Kevin Poulin was benched with 12 minutes to play in regulation after he surrendered the sixth goal. It's the seventh time in the past eight games the Islanders have allowed at least three goals, and there doesn't really seem to be any end in sight.
2. Will the Carolina Hurricanes extend their three-game win streak?
For the first 50 minutes against the Columbus Blue Jackets, it didn't look good. But thanks to a pair of goals from Eric Staal in one minute, and then a beautiful goal from Jordan Staal two minutes after that, the Hurricanes managed to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win to not only extend their winning streak, but to also jump ahead of the Blue Jackets for third place in the Metropolitan Division.
3. Will the Pittsburgh Penguins continue their dominance on home ice?
Their 3-0 win over Buffalo was their 22nd win on home ice this season, pushing their record at the Consol Energy Center to 22-4-0. The Sabres never really seemed to be a threat to score until the outcome was already well in hand. Ryan Miller kept it close, as he normally does, but the Sabres offense had nothing going on for most of the game.
4. Can the Colorado Avalanche cool off the Dallas Stars?
The Stars' three-game winning streak came to an end in what was probably the most entertaining game of the night. Tyler Seguin's two goals were not enough for the Stars as they fell to Colorado, 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon scored his 18th goal for the Avalanche while Alex Tanguay scored the game-winner early in the third period.
5. Will the Los Angeles Kings end their losing streak or will the San Jose Sharks extend their win streak?
The Kings ended their losing streak and snapped the Sharks' winning streak. It wasn't the most exciting brand of hockey, but at this point the Kings are probably just happy to get out with a win. They had lost five in a row entering play on Monday night.
The one play or moment from Monday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
The Penguins have been desperate for some secondary scoring this season as their third and fourth lines have been offensive black holes all year. Entering their game on Monday they had been outscored 29-12 at even-strength since the start of December when neither Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin were on the ice. That's bad. On Monday the fourth line finally came through in a big way by chipping in a pair of goals in their 3-0 win over Buffalo. Tanner Glass scored one and set up a Deryk Engelland goal, while Craig Adams had two assists. If you get that type of production from your fourth line in a game, there is a good chance you are going to win that game.
Stat of the Night
When Sharks goalie Alex Stalock gave up a second period goal to Anze Kopitar, it ended his 178-minute shutout streak, which set a new Sharks franchise record. The previous record belonged to Evgeni Nabokov.
Post to Post
- The NHL could reconsider sending its players to Sochi for the Olympics if "something significant" happens before Feb. 9.
- A firsthand account of the Stadium Series and what it was like at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.
- And the views from Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
- The folks at In Lou We Trust are tracking passing stats.