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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 1st (All times Eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (26-24-9) at Los Angeles Kings (33-22-6), 4 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings try to post their longest winning streak in over two months on Saturday afternoon as they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Staples Center.
The Kings have won their first two games following the Olympic break, pushing their overall winning streak to three straight following a 1-8-1 rut. Los Angeles has not won four in a row since claiming six straight victories from Dec. 2-14.
Los Angeles still sits third in the Pacific Division, seven points ahead of Phoenix.
The Kings went into the break having scored just 15 goals in 11 games before notching a 6-4 win at Colorado on Wednesday. The offense went quiet again the following night, but Jonathan Quick's 25-save shutout led his club to a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames.
Quick notched his fourth shutout of the season and 29th of his career. It was also Los Angeles' 10th shutout as a team this season, one off the record of 11 set in 2011-12.
"The first star of the game was Jonathan, no doubt about it," Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said of his netminder. "When we were on our heels a little bit, he made the saves we needed him to."
Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist while Dwight King also scored for the Kings.
Quick is likely to make his second start today for the Kings since serving as the No. 1 netminder for Team USA during the Winter Olympics. He faced the Hurricanes for the first time in his career on Oct. 11, making 27 saves in a 2-1 shootout win.
King scored shorthanded in regulation and Jeff Carter had the lone goal of the shootout as Los Angeles beat Carolina for the fourth time in the previous five meetings.
Jeff Skinner scored and Cam Ward stopped 36 shots for the Hurricanes, who have lost five of their past six in Los Angeles.
Ward is 2-0-2 with a 1.69 goals against average in his career versus the Kings and made his first appearance since Dec. 31 in Tuesday's 3-2 setback to Buffalo that began a five-game road trip. Ward had been out with a lower-body ailment.
Carolina coach Kirk Muller on Thursday went back to Anton Khudobin, who is 13-7-0 with a 2.18 GAA this season and has never faced the Kings, and had good words for his netminder despite a 4-1 loss to Dallas that saw the Stars score twice shorthanded.
"He's an elite goalie. He's doing the job every night," said Muller about Khudobin. "He gave us the chance again to stay in this game. He made some amazing, huge saves. But like I said, we just didn't get the goals and give him a chance to win this hockey game tonight."
Khudobin made 30 saves and Eric Staal scored, but the 'Canes lost their third straight and for the fifth time in their last seven games. Carolina also visits Anaheim on Sunday night.
The Hurricanes may be without scoring forward Alexander Semin today as he left Thursday's contest in the second period with a lower-body injury.
Carolina is five points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division.
03/01 10:26:20 ET