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Helene Elliott: Kings get a much-needed boost ahead of critical divisional road trip

Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Hockey

"Goal scorers, they like to feel it. Once you get one, all of a sudden you've got a little more confidence. Instead of thinking pass, you're thinking shot," Hiller said. "And I think that's what we're seeing with Kevin.

"I thought it was one of Kevin's better games of the year in the O zone. He looked like himself. He had a couple reverse hits. He protected the puck. He took people on, one-on-one. So I thought that was a really encouraging game for Kevin."

Special teams play was a factor again in the second period. The Ducks took a 2-1 lead on a short-handed goal by Sam Carrick at 9:08, a shot that appeared to deflect into the net off the body of Doughty. But Doughty brought the Kings even at 14:24 by taking a few strides in and unleashing a shot that eluded Gibson at 14:24.

In the shootout, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Thousand Oaks native Trevor Moore scored for the Kings, while Leo Carlsson scored for the Ducks.

Earning two points was a relief as much as a reward for the Kings (29-17-10). But their satisfaction will be brief, with a game at Edmonton coming Monday. They set an NHL record with an 11-game road winning streak from the start of the season but stumbled through a road-heavy January. They were 3-1 on their most recent trip, to Buffalo, New Jersey, Boston and Pittsburgh.

 

"It's going to be a huge road trip playing Vancouver, who we haven't played yet, and then Calgary and Edmonton, that are two really good teams," Kempe said. "It's going to be a tough road trip. We're looking forward to it.

"I think we've been playing well lately. We've been playing hard and that's all we've got to do. And we've got to trust our game plan and just keep playing the way we've been playing and hopefully we can get some points on the road here."

That one extra point they earned Saturday could make a big difference later this season. Stranger things have happened.


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