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Kings shut out Canadiens, set record for road win streak to begin a season

December 8, 2023, 10:05 PM ET [2 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings picked up a 4-0 shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens last night, marking their 11th straight road win to open the season. With the win, it marks the longest road winning streak to begin a season in NHL history.


Blake Lizotte returned for the Kings back in his usual spot centering the fourth line, while Jaret Anderson-Dolan came out of the lineup as a result.

After killing off an early penalty to start the game, the teams traded some near-misses in a pretty fast-paced first half of the period, before Drew Doughty banked in a puck past Sam Montembeault in-close on a 2-on-1, to open the scoring for Los Angeles.

The Canadiens did have their chances in the frame before getting another power play chance, and ended up outshooting the Kings in the period. But with just two minutes to go in the frame, Quinton Byfield made a great play to drive down the wing past Kaiden Guhle and cut to the net, sliding the puck past Montembeault to extend the lead to 2-0 through 20 minutes.



Los Angeles responded with a better second period after that, and Carl Grundstrom set up Pierre-Luc Dubois with a great opportunity in-close to extend the lead, but he wasn’t able to convert (with a scrum then ensuing afterwards). The teams spent time at 4-on-4 from there, before the Kings went down on a 4-on-3, but managed to kill it off.

Late in the frame though, with Los Angeles on a man advantage this time, Anze Kopitar made a great play to tip Kevin Fiala’s pass from the point right to Byfield at the side of the net, who buried his second goal of the game, putting the Kings up 3-0 through two periods.

Trevor Moore then managed to extend the lead again in the third period, going in on a breakaway after Justin Barron wiped out at the other blue line, and beating Montembeault with a good shot.


Los Angeles dominated the final frame from there, outshooting the Canadiens 16-4 in the period and cruising to their 11th straight road win.



So the Kings managed to pull it off, breaking the NHL record for road wins to start a season. It’s this road dominance that has them sitting first in the Western Conference in points percentage, and the gap between the Kings and Vegas Golden Knights versus all other teams in the conference (in points percentage) has continued to grow.

Similar to their games against both Colorado and Columbus, the Kings didn’t really fully take over until the third period, even if this time they had a big lead already going in. Regardless, they went on to outshoot Montreal 42-24 overall, on route to a third straight win.

The second goal from Quinton Byfield just highlights how much more impactful he’s been with the puck this season. It’s basically a situation where he uses just about every one of his tools available – size, power, improved skating, and finishing ability – to pretty much single-handedly create that goal.

Meanwhile, I’m speaking about him just about every game, but Trevor Moore's production just isn’t slowing down at all. Now with six goals in his last seven games, his 13 goals on the year have him ranked 15th in the NHL in the category, while almost all players ahead of him have played more games as well.

Blake Lizotte’s return helped the fourth line too: the line outshot opponents 8-3 at 5-on-5, according to NaturalStatTrick.com. Meanwhile, the Englund-Spence pairing rebounded after a tough game against the Blue Jackets.

Special teams was also a factor, with the Kings converting on their only power play chance, while going 3-for-3 on kills. With all three of those power plays coming in the first half, if Montreal converted on one, it could’ve been a different game.

Plus with another shutout, Cam Talbot continues his dominance with Los Angeles. Amongst goalies who have played at least 10 games, Talbot ranks first in goals against and second in save percentage. Taking on a larger workload than expected coming into the season as well, he’s solidifying himself as one of the most reliable goalies in the league this season.

Los Angeles will look to extend their road win streak this weekend, playing on both Saturday and Sunday for a set of back-to-back games in New York, starting with the Islanders tomorrow.





OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER

- Kings right back on track with win over Avalanche
- Kings erase three-goal deficit, beat Blue Jackets to extend road win streak
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