LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are rolling. They boast one of the best penalty kills in the NHL and are near the top of the league in goals per game. On Sunday, they continued their dominance, extending their winning streak to five games.
The Kings defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-0, led by the efforts of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Trevor Moore. Both of them added two points to their totals as a handful of other players added a point.
15:28 into the first period, Carl Grundstrom fired a shot into the top corner of the net, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead. Dubois found Grundstrom across the ice, and Grundstorm sent it to the back of the net with force.
9:55 into the second period, Moore snuck the puck past Canadiens goalkeeper Jake Allen on a wraparound to double the Kings’ lead. Arthur Kaliyev and Dubois were credited for assists on Moore’s goal.
3:14 into the third period, Jaret Anderson-Dolan stole the puck in the offensive zone and found Trevor Lewis, who scored, making the score 3-0.
13:28 into the third period, Trevor Moore snuck another goal past Allen by flipping the puck off his pads and into the goal, giving the Kings a 4-0 lead.
Also helping the Kings defeat the Canadiens was goaltender Phoenix Copley, who recorded a shutout in his sixth start of the 2023-24 season. He made a few impressive saves, but he only faced 18 shots as the Kings’ controlled the puck.
“[Goaltending coach] Mike Buckley’s done a tremendous job in working with him [Copley] in specific small little adjustments. And Phoenix [Copley] is a good student,” said head coach Todd McLellan. “He’s put them into play. So, I don’t think that the Arizona [Coyotes] game or the Montreal [Canadiens] game has solidified his confidence. It existed well before him putting the pads on.”
The Kings’ penalty kill was outstanding, as usual. They held the Canadiens scoreless on three power plays. On the contrary, the Kings’ power play was unsuccessful, as they failed to score on two tries.
The four-goal victory was a dominant victory by the Kings. But McLellan said the team will review the game (and Friday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks) to identify areas of improvement. However, the team is headed in the right direction 19 games into the season.
“We have to go back and watch what’s happened over the last six periods,” McLellan said. “Last night, we played most of the evening, spent preparing for Montreal. I haven’t, and the staff hasn’t gone back and really reviewed the Anaheim game. We’ll watch this one again, and then we’re going to get a theme or a direction that we feel we have to go to on Monday for practice.”
The Kings kept up with the Vancouver Canucks on points in the Pacific Division (both at 29) by beating the Canadiens. However, the Kings have played two fewer games than the Canadiens, giving them the upper hand early in the season.
Next, they face the Washington Capitals on Wednesday with a chance to continue their winning streak and add points.