The Los Angeles Kings currently have the longest win streak in the league at six games. The team has outscored the competition by a 22-7 margin during that period.
The Kings finished ahead of just three teams in the league’s overall standings last year with a record of 29-35-6. The team was expected to languish near the bottom of the standings again in 2020-21, but instead find themselves fourth overall in the West Division with a .583 points percentage.
Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick have performed well, while sharing time between the pipes. Quick has posted five victories to Petersen’s four, but the latter has excellent peripheral numbers with a 2.28 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.
The Kings have also improved offensively after ranking 30th overall in goals for per game played (2.53) last season. Team veterans Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty have carried the play with productive years, while Alex Iafallo, Jeff Carter and Adrian Kempe have hit double digits in points as well.
The big news off the ice Wednesday was the Montreal Canadiens firing head coach Claude Julien. The team also relieved associate coach Kirk Muller of his duties. The Canadiens were riding high following an 8-2-2 start to the year, but have won just one of their last six games (1-3-2). Dominique Ducharme will serve as the bench boss of the Canadiens through the end of the season.
CAROLINA 0 TAMPA BAY 3
The Lightning have posted two wins a row against the Hurricanes. The two teams will meet for a fourth straight time, including the third time this week, on Thursday night.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside all 25 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season. He is tied for the league lead with 11 wins through 15 starts.
Ross Colton opened the scoring at the 6:43 mark of the first period with his first career goal. He logged 7:52 of ice time in his NHL debut on Wednesday, while scoring on his only shot and it held up as the game winner.
Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 25 of 27 shots in the defeat.
DALLAS 3 FLORIDA 0
The Stars evened up their three-game set against the Panthers with Wednesday’s victory. The rubber match between the two teams will take place on Thursday night.
Anton Khudobin was superb in Monday’s loss to Florida when he stopped 49 of 51 shots and he was excellent again on Wednesday with a 43-save shutout. He has two goose eggs on the year and he earned his first win since January 26.
John Klingberg scored what turned out to be the game winner just 53 seconds into the first period.
Chris Driedger blocked 23 of 25 shots in the loss.
Radko Gudas was assessed four penalty minutes and had a game-high eight hits.
NEW YORK RANGERS 3 PHILADELPHIA 4
The Flyers bounced back from Sunday’s blowout loss to Boston with a win over the Rangers on Wednesday.
Philadelphia got Claude Giroux back in the lineup from COVID protocol and he collected three assists.
Chris Kreider was the offensive star for the Rangers with a hat trick. He scored two of his three goals on the power play.
Mika Zibanejad had two primary helpers for his first multi-point performance of the season.
Gostisbehere and Erik Gustafsson scored their first goals of 2020-21 in the contest. They also added one helper apiece for two-point nights.
Kevin Hayes gave Philadelphia a 4-2 lead late in the second stanza and it held up as the game winner.
CALGARY 1 TORONTO 2 (OT)
The Flames shut out the Maple Leafs on Monday and came close to duplicating that feat on Wednesday.
William Nylander jammed in the goal to send the game to extra time and then he provided the game winner just 1:06 into overtime.
Andrew Mangiapane gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at the 16:33 mark of the third period, but they were unable to hold on for the victory.
MINNESOTA 6 COLORADO 2
The Wild extended their win streak to four straight games on Wednesday with an impressive showing against Colorado.
Kirill Kaprizov chipped in two primary helpers.
Nico Sturm scored a pair of goals on Wednesday, including an empty-netter.
Zach Parise had the other goal in the contest.
ANAHEIM 3 ARIZONA 4 (SO)
The Coyotes rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a 4-3 victory for a second straight time against the Ducks this week. Arizona won Wednesday’s game in a shootout thanks to three straight goals in the third period.
Comtois, who has eight markers this year, also added an assist in the contest. Kessel had one and one helper in the match as well.
Ryan Miller blocked 25 of 28 shots in the loss in his first appearance since February 9.
LOS ANGELES 2 ST. LOUIS 1
The Kings won a sixth straight game on Wednesday night and swept the Blues in a two-game series in the process.
Oskar Sundqvist got the Blues on the board at the 18:14 mark of the third period.
Sammy Blais had a game-high seven hits in the match.