The Los Angeles Kings recently ended a seven-game road trip with an overtime win against the Nashville Predators by a score of 2-1 on Saturday Feb. 20. Three of the seven road games the Kings just played went into overtime as the Kings would go 2-1 after regulation and finish the trip with a 3-3-1 record.
In the 2014-15 season, the Kings went 1-7 in overtime and 2-8 in shootouts for a 3-15 record in games that continued after regulation earning three of the possible 18 points that could have been earned after regulation. The Kings missed the playoffs by four points last season and were the first team to miss the playoffs after having won a Stanley Cup since the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006-07.
This season, the Kings have appeared in 11 3-on-3 overtime periods and have won nine of the 11. The two overtime games they have lost were against the Buffalo Sabres on Dec. 12 and on this last road trip against the Blues in St. Louis on Feb. 18. In the four games that have gone into a shootout this season, the Kings have gone 2-2 defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in November and the Pittsburgh Penguins in early December. The two shootout losses were against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Louis Blues.
Kings Making Up for the Points They Missed Last Year
The first overtime game won was on Feb. 11 against the New York Rangers where Tanner Pearson would score his first overtime goal of the season. After having tied the game against the Blues on Feb. 18, the Kings lost that overtime bout by the hands of Blues forward Jason Schwartz with the game winner.
Last Saturday night in Nashville, without Anze Kopitar (who has three overtime goals on the season), the Kings won in overtime by a goal from Pearson for his second overtime goal of the trip and eighth goal of the season. The new 3-on-3 overtime format has worked well for the Kings this season giving the Pacific division leaders valuable points the team could have desperately used last year.
Three players have scored multiple overtime game-winners for the Kings: injured Marian Gaborik has two overtime goals, the injured Kopitar has three overtime goals and Pearson now has two overtime goals to add to his three points registered in the overtime period(s) this season.
Five different players have scored overtime goals for the Kings and six players have multiple points in the new 3-on-3 overtime format. Kings leading goal-scorer Tyler Toffoli has three assists in periods after regulation this season and defenseman Alec Martinez has one goal and three assists.
Having earned a point in the standings just to make it to the overtime and shootout periods, the Kings have earned an additional eleven points of the possible fifteen to be made when winning after regulation. A much different story from last year’s overtime and shootout records.
The Kings have 24 games remaining this season and currently sit two points ahead of the second placed Anaheim Ducks and return home on Tuesday Feb. 23 to face the Calgary Flames and begin a three-game home stand. The two teams will meet for the second time this season with the Kings having won the first game on Dec. 31 by a score of 4-1.
Cole R. Querry resides in Southern California. Having played hockey through college and a background in science and math, he promises to bring an objective analysis to the team and sport he loves.