The Los Angeles Kings ended their 4 game road trip Thursday night with a shootout victory over the Nashville Predators. It was their third shootout victory of the season as Jonathan Quick came up big in the shootout stopping all three shots by the Predators. The Kings finished 3 and 1 on the road trip with their only loss coming in Tampa Bay versus the Lightning. It was a successful road trip for the Kings as they improved their record on the season to 5 wins and 3 losses. There are many positives to take from this road trip as well as some negatives that need to be fixed as the Kings now go back home.
The Kings improved throughout this road trip and did many things well that contributed to their 3 victories. The first thing to note is that LA as a team played well defensively in their victories as they only allowed 2 goals in the 3 games they won. Both Jonathan Quick and Ben Scrivens played amazing and Scrivens recorded the Kings only shutout of the season so far. The Kings also continue to cut down on the giveaways as they only had a total of 7 in their 3 victories. LA’s role players also stepped up on this road trip as Daniel Carcillo, Jordan Nolan and Dwight King all contributed goals in their wins. The standout player on this road trip for me was Slava Voynov as he scored 2 goals and continues to improve defensively.
The Kings had a successful road trip, but there are negatives that must be pointed out. In their loss against the Lightning the Kings gave up 5 goals and just played sloppy throughout deciding to get into a track meet against a faster Tampa Bay team. The loss stands out as the Kings were totally demolished 5 to 1 and allowed Martin St. Louis to score 2 goals and have 1 assist. The offense also needs to produce more as the Kings only scored a total of 6 goals in 4 games. Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards did not score at all on this road trip. The power play was also horrible on this road trip as the Kings went 0 for 13 in 4 games. Everyone has room to improve, but the one player that is really under performing is defender Drew Doughty. Doughty has just not found his groove so far and continues to make mistakes in the defensive zone. He fuels the defense and when he cuts down on the mistakes and starts contributing some goals the Kings as a whole will be even more dangerous.
Los Angeles did well on their first long road trip of the season and will now look to rack up some wins at home. The Kings will play 8 of their next 9 games at home with the only exception being a trip to Phoenix. Hopefully, LA will parlay this successful road trip into a string of wins at home.