NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 1 (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (29-20-12) at Winnipeg Jets (31-20-12), 4 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After nearly matching the longest winning streak in club history a few days ago, the Los Angeles Kings are in danger of taking some big steps back.
The Kings look to avoid a third loss in a row on Sunday afternoon as they visit the Winnipeg Jets.
Los Angeles followed up a span of 10 losses in 12 games by ripping off eight victories in a row. That was just one shy of the longest winning streak in club history, a run the Kings failed to match with a 1-0 loss to Ottawa on Thursday.
Darryl Sutter's club then made it back-to-back losses as they allowed the Anaheim Ducks to score four third-period goals in a 4-2 setback on Friday.
Brayden McNabb and Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings, while Martin Jones gave up three goals on 31 shots.
"I think we slowly got away from our game a little bit, got away from the things that were winning us games previously," the Kings' Jeff Carter said. "This is a tough one."
Los Angeles did remain tied with Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division and the Flames are idle on Sunday.
One area Los Angeles did not get away from in Friday's loss was on the penalty kill. They prevented the Ducks from scoring on their lone chance on the power play and have now killed off 20 straight penalties in a row since yielding a power-play goal to Calgary on Feb. 12.
The Kings will try to keep that streak running today and will likely have Jonathan Quick in net. He is 3-2-1 lifetime versus the Jets with a 3.25 goals against average and .879 save percentage.
Winnipeg, owners of the first wild card spot in the Western Conference. has lost three of its past four games, but Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues did earn the club a point for the ninth time in 11 games (5-2-4). That has helped the Jets stay in the mix for third place in the Central Division, where they trail the Chicago Blackhawks by five points.
Vladimir Tarasenko put St. Louis ahead in the second round of the shootout on Thursday, and Andrew Ladd briefly kept Winnipeg alive before Alexander Steen snuck a backhander past Michael Hutchinson to win it for the Blues.
"It was a battle right to the end," said Ladd. "I thought we played a really strong game. Obviously you get to the shootout and anything can happen, and we ended up on the wrong side of it. But I thought it was a pretty solid effort from start to finish."
Mark Scheifele lit the lamp for the Jets and Hutchinson stopped 28-of-29 shots while playing for the fifth time in six games.
Hutchinson appears to have claimed the starting job over Ondrej Pavelec and is 1-1-0 lifetime versus the Kings with a 4.82 GAA and .833 save percentage in two meetings.
Winnipeg, which wraps a four-game homestand on Wednesday versus Ottawa, could have Blake Wheeler back in the lineup today. He has missed the past two contests with a lower-body injury and has logged 16 goals with 44 points in 61 games.
The Jets snapped a three-game slide to the Kings with a 5-4 shootout victory on Jan. 10 in Los Angeles. Bryan Little had the lone goal of the tiebreaker, but Winnipeg failed to win in regulation despite scoring three goals on its first three shots of the game.
Little and Wheeler scored in regulation an Hutchinson made 25 saves, while Quick posted 21 stops.
The Jets have won two of three in Winnipeg versus the Kings since relocating from Atlanta.
03/01 10:25:27 ET