L.A. Kings extend winning streak to eight games

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The L.A. Kings look like a team on a mission right now.

And of course, it’s all happening just prior to the trade deadline and with the playoff race in the Western Conference heating up. On Tuesday, the Kings recorded their eighth straight victory, defeating the visiting Detroit Red Wings 1-0.

They move back within three points of the Vancouver Canucks, who sit second in the Pacific Division and were also victorious on Tuesday.

The lone goal of the game came off a double deflection in front, as Justin Williams was the last Kings player to get his stick on a point shot less than three minutes into the game.

From there, the defending-champion Kings held the Red Wings, playing their third game in four nights and fourth on a six-game road trip out West, to just 20 shots on goal.

The Red Wings were also without Henrik Zetterberg, who hasn’t played since Saturday after getting popped with a pair of lefts to the head from Jamie Benn.

Kings re-sign Nolan: three years, $2.85 million

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The Los Angeles Kings re-upped with one of their toughest customers on Tuesday, agreeing to a three-year deal with pending RFA forward Jordan Nolan.

Nolan, 25, signed for $2.85 million, per TSN. That represents an average annual value of $950,000, a nice pay bump from the $750,000 he’s making on his current contract.

A four-year veteran, Nolan has spent his entire career in Los Angeles, helping the team capture the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. He appeared in 20 games during the ’12 run but just three last year, as his role diminished following a good regular season in which he posted career highs in goals (six) and points (10).

This season, Nolan has four goals in 36 games while averaging 9:33 TOI per night.

With this new deal, it’ll be interesting to see what L.A. does with its other resident tough guy, Kyle Clifford. A pending RFA, Clifford is playing on a one-year, $1.075M deal and has proven to be an important contributor; he’s fought a team-high eight times and is on pace (three goals, 10 points) to eclipse his career-high of 14 points, set during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.

Quick, Sedin, Pacioretty named NHL’s three stars of the week

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Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick, Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin and Montreal’s Max Pacioretty were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 22, the league announced on Monday.

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Quick went 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .959 save percentage to backstop the Kings (28-18-12, 68 points) to three consecutive victories, including a 2-1 triumph over the rival San Jose Sharks in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Sedin registered four consecutive multi-point games and shared the League lead with eight points as the Canucks (34-22-3, 71 points) won three of four starts.

Pacioretty shared first in the NHL with four goals and a +6 rating to lead the Canadiens (38-16-5, 81 points) to five out of eight possible standings points.

Huge week for Quick, who seemingly responded to head coach Darryl Sutter’s challenge from last month:

Quick’s save percentage then proceeded to dip lower than that and, even with last week’s efforts, still sits at a .913 on the year.

Video: Kings keep rolling with victory over Sharks at Levi’s Stadium

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The stage was great, and so were the stakes.

In a battle at Levi’s Stadium, in front of more than 70,000 hockey fans, the L.A. Kings moved back into third place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 win over the host San Jose Sharks in a physical, intense game between two California rivals.

Marian Gaborik scored the winner, beating Antti Niemi with a slap shot that found its way under the left arm of the Sharks goalie.

“Yeah, it’s definitely special. It was my second outdoor game,” said Gaborik.

“It’s been fun in terms of putting pucks into the net. But it definitely feels good to get the goal. So brought us each two points, and it was a fun game tonight.”

With the victory, the Kings have won seven games in a row. They’re serving notice to the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Sharks have fallen out of the top eight in the conference, as the playoff race heats up.

“Well, we’ve been very inconsistent this year. The last seven games we played some good hockey,” said Gaborik. “We played some Kings hockey like we know how to play, and we’ve been getting great goaltending throughout the team everybody is contributing.”

The Kings began this streak on Feb. 7. It followed a three-game losing streak, and seven losses in eight games.

Back on Feb. 6, the Kings were 12th in the conference, and five points back of the Vancouver Canucks for the final Wild Card spot.

“If you look at our schedule, we have a two-game trip for us, and we have 14 road games and 12 division games so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on where we are right now,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.

The Sharks got off to a slow start under the lights of Levi’s Stadium, but were much stronger through the middle part of the game. However, Gaborik’s early goal in the third period turned the momentum in favor of the Kings, who were able to hold on in the final minute.

“We were disappointed in the outcome. I’m not disappointed in the effort and what our group put into the game,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

“We would have preferred to win. It was a hard-fought game by two good teams that played a pretty even match. So the outcome is very disappointing, but everything else we’re proud of. I think our city and Northern California has to be extremely proud.”

Video: Gaborik’s third-period goal extends Kings’ winning streak to seven games

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The L.A. Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, are making a statement as they fight back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Marian Gaborik scored the winner on a slap shot that somehow beat Antti Niemi at the 4:04 mark of the third period, as the Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 2-1 before 70,205 fans at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday.

That’s now seven consecutive wins for the Kings, who move to 68 points, which ties them with the Sharks, who entered the game holding that final Wild Card spot in the West.

The Kings, with games in hand on Calgary and San Jose, move into third in the Pacific Division.