The Kings beat the Wild 4-0 Tuesday night, giving them their fifth win of the season and second in a row. Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Trevor Moore all scored goals helping netminder Jonathan Quick secure his 28 save shutout – The 53rd of his career. This was Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s second game in a row with a goal and an assist. And, over his last three games, he has five points, building his case to be up full time from the taxi squad. Defenseman Matt Roy was also activated from the injured reserve after suffering a concussion against the Wild on January 28. He had a quiet game and played 20:53 in the contest.
After a rough start to the season, it looks like the Kings are slowly finding their groove. With the return of Roy, the aggressiveness of Kempe, and the consistency of taxi players like Anderson-Dolan, it looks like all the moves Coach McLellan is making are falling into place. Veteran Dustin Brown looks like a brand-new player after scoring his 7th goal of the season during Tuesday’s game. The players are becoming comfortable with their roles on the team and their puck movement has been on point. Forward Gabe Vilardi found an open Jeff Carter, who zipped it by the defense to assist Anderson-Dolan on the first goal of the game. A period later, Anderson-Dolan made a smooth backhand to Trevor Moore who put it in net to double the Kings lead. “I just had some time and space. Thing’s kind of just opened up and I saw Trevor in a good spot, backside there,” Anderson-Dolan said about his pass to Moore.
The win against Minnesota on Tuesday was the second time the team has won consecutive games and the fourth time the team has won on four goals or more. “They earned the right to win the games,” Coach Todd McLellan said. “Our lines are starting to gel a little bit.” The team has become more aggressive and is recognizing weaknesses much better than the start of the season. They certainly took advantage of the fact that Minnesota had not played since February 2 due to covid protocols.
Their lines aren’t the only thing starting to mesh. Los Angeles’ penalty kill, which has faltered over the last couple seasons, has rediscovered its old form against Minnesota, killing three power plays in the second period. The Wild have not scored on any of its 21 power plays against the Kings this season. The special teams have even shown up with five power play goals in the last three games.
They still have a tough road ahead, but all things considered, it looks like things are starting to click. The Kings play the Coyotes next to start a 6-game road trip. Arizona currently sits in the number four seed in the Pacific division – the last seed allowed into the playoffs. There are a lot of games left but if the Kings play like they have been over the last few games, aggressive, smooth, and smart, they should be sitting pretty towards the end of the regular season.