It’s been a while since the L.A. Kings stringed together consecutive wins.
In fact, the last time the Kings won two games in a row? Before the NHL shut down for the holiday break, back on Dec. 18 and 20 — against the St. Louis Blues and Arizona Coyotes.
Then, on Monday, the Kings, without Alec Martinez due to a concussion, held on to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a final score of 4-3. Dustin Brown scored the winner less than two minutes into the third period, for just his ninth goal of the season.
Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the win.
And there you go. The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions but currently out of a playoff position in the Western Conference, with only three victories in their last 10 games and salary cap issues, winners of two in a row for the first time in seven weeks.
Since the spring of 2012, the Kings have proved any and all doubters wrong. That year, they just barely squeaked into the playoffs, but promptly eliminated the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round and went on to dominate the post-season for the Stanley Cup.
They’ve since gone to the Western Conference finals in 2013, and won their second Stanley Cup in three years last June.
But their struggles so far during the 2014-15 campaign has suddenly created doubt around the Kings.
Their win Monday pushed them three points back of the Calgary Flames for the final Wild Card spot in the West, with the Flames still to play later in the same evening.