Kings out to set franchise record vs. Blues

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings can set a franchise record for the longest point streak when they host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

The Kings have earned at least a point in 11 straight games (9-0-2), which ties the team record set in 1974 and matched in 2011, 2013 and again on Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 victory against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

Los Angeles (42-20-10, 94 points) continues to stay on the heels of the equally red-hot Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division standings.

Vegas has held Los Angeles off by going 11-2-0 in its past 13 games to maintain a four-point lead over the Kings with nine games left for the Golden Knights and 10 for Los Angeles.

The point streak by Los Angeles has been a major topic of conversation around the NHL, but it hasn’t been mentioned among the coaches and players.

“They want to keep playing well, and I’m not just saying this because I’m the coach standing up here,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “They want to do things the right way. You can hear them talk about things between periods, before the game. Never once do they talk about, ‘Hey, let’s keep this record going,’ or ‘Let’s set that record.’ It just doesn’t show up.”

Los Angeles is making it difficult for opposing teams to score, limiting the past 10 opponents to two goals or fewer during regulation.

The Kings beat the visiting Blues 4-2 during that stretch on March 4.

The goalie tandem of Pheonix Copley and Joonas Korpisalo have played a key part in stoning a large chunk of scoring chances while alternating the past 10 games.

Korpisalo made 25 saves in the win against the Jets on Saturday, putting Copley in line to man the net against the Blues.

Copley made his NHL debut for the Blues on Feb. 27, 2016, and his first NHL start 11 months later, but those would be his only appearances before he was traded to the Washington Capitals exactly one year later.

Los Angeles recalled Copley from the American Hockey League in early December and he has been mostly spectacular even since, posting a 22-4-3 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.

The Blues (33-33-6, 72 points) have not been mathematically eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it’s very likely they’ll miss the postseason for just the second time in the past 12 seasons.

St. Louis has also begun looking to the future and might have found its next goalie in Joel Hofer.

The 22-year-old is set to start against the Kings after Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in a 6-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, improving the Blues to 4-0-1 in their past five games.

Binnington has been the starter in St. Louis since helping the Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019, but inconsistent play and a two-game suspension earlier this month opened the door for Hofer to get a shot. He’s taken full advantage, going 3-0-1 in four starts with 118 saves amd seven goals allowed.

“He’s not going down,” said Blues head coach Craig Berube said last week of Hofer’s roster spot. “He’s doing a good job. He knows he can do the job.”

That leaves the Blues with three goalies on the roster with 37-year-old Thomas Greiss as the other. Greiss served as the backup against the Ducks.

–Field Level Media

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