We may not have the National Hockey League for a while due to the Coronavirus. However heading into the pause, it was the Los Angeles Kings that was the hottest team in the entire NHL, as they were winners of seven straight games.
One could argue that this seven game winning streak came out of absolute nowhere. Heading into the streak, the Kings were the worst team in the Western Conference at 22 wins, 35 regulation losses and six losses in extra time for 50 points. Now, since the seven straight wins, they passed the San Jose Sharks out of the basement of the Pacific Division. Now with a record of 29 wins, 35 regulation losses and six losses in extra time for 64 points, the Kings now have something at least to build on heading into next season.
The streak started on February 26 in a 2-1 Kings upset win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Kings were led offensively by rookie center Blake Lizotte of Lindstrom, MN, who had one goal and one assist for two points. Meanwhile, goaltender Cal Petersen was strong in net as he made 35 saves on 36 shot attempts.
The Kings then beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in overtime on February 29. Adrian Kempe of Kramfors, Sweden scored the game winning goal, while Jonathan Quick of Milford, CT, made 31 saves for the win.
On March 1, the Kings gave up only a single goal for the third straight game. This time their opponent was the Vegas Golden Knights. Petersen made 42 saves as the Kings stunned the Pacific Division leaders 4-1. Four Kings had multi-point games. Anze Kopitar of Jesenice, Slovenia had two goals. Alex Iafallo of Eden, NY had one goal and one assist, while defensemen Drew Doughty of London, Ontario and Ben Hutton of Brockville, Ontario had two assists each.
The Kings increased their winning streak to four on March 5 with a surprising 1-0 shutout win in a shootout over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jonathan Quick of Milford, CT had his first shutout of the season and 52nd of his career. The Kings meanwhile got shootout goals from Kempe and Kopitar.
On March 7, the Kings offense was in high gear as they knocked off the Minnesota Wild 7-3. Dustin Brown of Ithaca, NY had his sixth career hat trick, and had four points overall, as he also had an assist on a goal by Kopitar. The Kings had two other players with multi-point games. Kopitar had one goal and two assists for three points and Iafallo had two assists.
The Kings winning streak reached six on March 9 with a 3-1 upset over the Colorado Avalanche. Quick made 21 saves, while the Kings got goals from Iafallo, Austin Wagner of Calgary, Alberta and defenseman Michael Anderson of Roseville, MN, who scored his first career NHL goal.
Then the Kings winning streak moved to seven on March 11 with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Martin Frk of Pelhrimov, Czech Republic broke a 2-2 tie with 4:41 left in the third period and Gabriel Vilardi of Kingston, Ontario led the Kings in scoring with one goal and one assist for two points.