The Los Angeles Kings beefed up their playoff lead out West while the Montreal Canadiens failed to give themselves extra breathing room on Monday as the Kings won 2-1 tonight.
This win gives Los Angeles five victories in a row.
The Kings seem pretty firmly in third place in the Pacific Division at this point, as the Sharks hold an eight-point lead over them for second place while the fledgling Vancouver Canucks are 10 points behind them as the closest Pacific team behind them. (Phoenix isn’t far behind Vancouver with 65 points.) Much like the Wild with their wild card spot, the Kings are distancing themselves from their competition.
While the Wild and Kings fatten their leads, the Habs fell much like the Toronto Maple Leafs in an opportunity to make their playoff spot more sound. Montreal remains in second place in the Atlantic Division, but it’s pretty tight behind division-leading Boston right now:
Boston: 81 points in 60 games played
Montreal: 75 points in 62 GP
Tampa Bay: 73 points in 61 GP
Toronto: 72 points in 63 GP
Detroit: 68 points in 60 GP
A streak or two could change the complexion of that talented-yet-flawed group, but the positive runs belonged to West teams like the Kings on Monday.