Ranking the 5 Best Moments from Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 Season so Far
The Kings' season took a bad turn in late January, as they lost nine of 11 games heading into the break. They've scored just eight goals in their past eight games.
With that said, it hasn't been all doom and gloom for the team that ranks seventh in the Western Conference. There have been a number of exciting games and moments, some courtesy of star veterans and another from a rookie.
These are the top five moments of the Kings' 2013-14 season so far.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.
Honorable Mention: Dwight King's Shorthanded Goal
The Kings were slow out of the gate this season, winning two of their first four games but neither in regulation.
Their fifth contest against the Carolina Hurricanes went to overtime as well. While they earned the win, the best moment came in the third period.
Dwight King snagged a loose puck and walked in alone shorthanded. He made a nice move and slid the puck through Cam Ward's legs to get the Kings on the board.
It's probably one of King's more impressive tallies, but his most memorable moment is still to come.
5. Beating the Sharks
The Kings found themselves down 1-0 just 13 seconds into the game, but they evened the score a few minutes later. They would trail twice more but eventually tie the game both times. It was a tense battle between division rivals, highlighted by a fight between Kyle Clifford and Mike Brown.
In overtime, the Kings got a power-play chance and cashed in, as Anze Kopitar blasted a slap shot past Antti Niemi.
4. 1 Goal, 2 Milestones
This moment is ranked fourth because of how unusual it is.
With the Kings trailing the Calgary Flames 1-0 late in the third, Justin Williams skated hard down the right side and floated the puck over Karri Ramo's shoulder.
It was a clutch goal, but also a significant one for both Williams and Anze Kopitar, who assisted it. It marked the 200th goal of Williams' career and the 500th point of Kopitar's young career.
Williams is in the midst of his 13th NHL season and now has 204 goals and 323 assists for 527 points. Kopitar is just 26 years old but has already played 581 games, notching 190 goals and 333 assists for 523 points.
3. Dwight King's First Hat Trick
It was a special night for Dwight King and the Kings on October 24, 2013, at the Staples Center.
Not only was it Dwight King's first career three-goal game, it was his first multi-goal game. His hat trick accounted for less than half of the Kings' goals as they defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 7-4.
King is having easily the best season of his young career, with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 59 games. And for the team, the game serves as a reminder of what they're capable of doing offensively.
The milestones were rare, but this is King's only multi-goal game to date, and goals have been scarce for the Kings this season.
2. The Shootout
For Stanley Cup contenders there are few regular-season moments of significance—the best moments usually come in the playoffs.
However, this is an exception.
On December 3, 2013, the Kings played their California rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, for the first time this season. The game remained tied at two after a hard-fought and entertaining 65 minutes.
The shootout was a classic, with Dwight King scoring the winner. But the hero was the Kings' goaltender, Martin Jones. It just happened to the first game of his NHL career and he was unbeatable, stopping all nine of the Ducks' shooters to earn his first win.
1. The Stadium Series Game
No, they didn't win the game.
In fact, it wasn't even close. After Jonas Hiller stopped Anze Kopitar on a penalty shot, the Anaheim Ducks seemed to carry the momentum the rest of the way.
Despite losing 3-0, the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium was one the Kings and their fans will never forget.
It was the NHL's first warm-weather game and was played in front of a sold-out crowd of about 55,000. The ice held up as the temperature hovered around 60 degrees. There was also a beach volleyball court and roller hockey rink on the field. Not to mention performances by KISS and an appearance by the "Great One," Wayne Gretzky.