No matter how bad of a season a team had, there are always some games that are ones to remember, even if the season shouldn’t be. The 28th-place Los Angeles Kings are no exception. Although they are rebuilding and not in search of a championship quite yet, there were five games that stood out, making for some great nights during the 2019-20 season.
5: Kings Put up 7 Goals to Extend Win Streak to 5 Games
March 7 vs. Minnesota Wild
Long after the Kings were out of the playoffs, they still put together four-straight wins going into this home game against the Wild. The Kings wore their grey alternate uniforms, new in the 2018-19 season, for this Saturday game. The first period was somewhat uneventful, with one goal from Anze Kopitar coming just over five minutes into the game. The second period would end with the team up by a score of 3-1, with Dustin Brown adding a fourth goal at the beginning of the third period. With everything pointing to a win for L.A., Minnesota swung the momentum with two goals of their own, making the score 4-3 in favor of the Kings.
Dustin Brown would put an end to this just over two minutes later, for his second goal of the game. With the Kings up by two, the Wild pulled Alex Stalock. Brown netted another goal on the empty net completing the hat-trick, his 17th of the year. The team added one more feel-good moment when Gabriel Vilardi scored the second goal of his career on Stalock, just 14 seconds after he was put back in the net, adding to the final score of 7-3. Dustin Brown scored a hat trick, Vilardi scored the second goal of his career, and the Kings got a big win, doing it all in style.
4: Kings Cap off Their Season With a Home Win and a 7-Game Win Streak
March 11 vs. Ottawa Senators
After winning six-straight games, the Kings went into their game against the Ottawa Senators not knowing this would be the last game they would play for quite a long time. The Kings didn’t get off to a good start in this one, with Bobby Ryan scoring the first goal of the game just 29 seconds in. Trevor Lewis would respond with a goal of his own to tie the game.
The next goal came in the third period with Ottawa going up by one. Just over nine minutes into the period, Vilardi tallied his second goal in three games, the third of his career. Martin Frk would then win the game for Los Angeles, with just under five minutes to go, for a final score of 3-2. The Kings outshot Ottawa 39-26 in the game, closing out the season with their seventh-straight win.
3: Doughty Scores in Overtime for the Kings’ First Win of the Season
Oct. 8 at Calgary Flames
After losing to the Edmonton Oilers in their season opener, the Kings hoped to find their first win against another Alberta team. The team came out strong, finding themselves up 3-0 soon after the start of the second period. These goals came from Tyler Toffoli, Sean Walker, and Ilya Kovalchuck. The Flames came roaring back with three goals of their own, tying the game with just over one minute to go.
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With an inexperienced team such as the Kings, one might think their night would be over, as they aren’t the best when it comes to momentum swings. One guy who does have a lot of experience, though — Drew Doughty — scored the game-winner 50 seconds into overtime. The team got their first win while outshooting a solid team 40-29.
2: Toffoli Scores a Hat Trick in the Kings’ Stadium Series Win
Feb. 15 at Colorado Avalanche
The Kings took on the Avalanche in the 2020 NHL Stadium Series at the Air Force Academy. Going into the game, the Kings were clearly the underdog with a record almost inverse to that of the Avalanche. Toffoli recorded his first goal in the first period, followed by a tying goal from Samuel Girard near the end of the second period.
With under one minute to go, it looked like the game was going to overtime, but Toffoli scored his second goal of the game to put the Kings ahead. He would also add an empty netter with five seconds left to secure the hat trick. Jonathan Quick shined in this game, putting up a .970 save percentage. Aside from a memorable win, the Kings also got an incredible uniform out of this game featuring white gloves and silver helmets that they would wear again later in the season.
1: Kings Come Out on Top in Insane Home Opener
Oct. 12 vs. Nashville Predators
The Kings came into their home opener with a record of 1-2-0. The first period was a pretty average one, ending with L.A. up by a score of 2-1. The team had a big second period, going into the second intermission up 4-1. Everything was going the Kings’ way until the Nashville Predators picked things up in the third. Viktor Arvidsson got the Predators going just over one minute into the third period. Halfway through the period, they tied the game at four, tallying two in just 34 seconds.
With all the energy out of the packed Staples Center, the Kings managed to calm things down and not let Nashville get ahead. After what was already a crazy game, Alex Iafallo scored the game-winner with 59 seconds to go, and the arena exploded. With the fans back into it, the Kings put in two empty net goals for a final score of 7-4. The Kings played a solid physical game with 26 hits on the night, compared to the Predators’ 18. Five Kings players also recorded multi-point nights in a big first home game.
Dec. 17 at Boston Bruins
The Kings were able to overcome one of the best teams in the league with a record of 21-7-7. Matt Roy tied the game late, sending it to overtime. Kopitar recorded his 14th goal of the season with the overtime winner for the Kings’ fifth-straight game with at least one point awarded. Quick recorded a .925 save percentage in this game.
Dec. 27 at San Jose Sharks
After a scoreless first period and two goals from the Sharks in the second, things weren’t looking to be in favor of the Kings. Frk took over in the third period, scoring about one minute and 30 seconds into the period and with one minute and 30 seconds left in the period to tie the game. Jeff Carter scored the overtime winner to take down their intrastate rivals. The Kings also outshot the Sharks 38-24 in this game.
Jan. 30 at Arizona Coyotes
Iafallo recorded two goals in regulation, including the tying goal with just under three minutes to go. He went on to complete the hat trick 24 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Kings. The team outshot the Coyotes 37-28, and Jack Campbell recorded a .929 save percentage.
Kings Will Look to Gain Experience and Start to Turn Things Around Next Season
Even though the Kings won’t be competing for a Stanley Cup next season, there will be games like these to look forward to. With the second-overall pick in this year’s draft, fans will likely have another exciting player to watch next season. If the team can put on a show as they did in these games, the time it will take to get back to the playoffs will fly by.