Los Angeles Kings coach Todd McLellan had some high praise for forward Arthur Kaliyev after he scored two power-play goals in a 3-2 overtime loss to visiting Ottawa on Sunday.
Especially after what he saw on a one-timer from the right hash marks midway through the game.
“I’m not saying that Arthur is (Washington Capitals forward Alex) Ovechkin by no means … but they both have (the same) element of a shot from that spot,” McLellan said. “Obviously, different hands, and you have respect it and it opens up ice for others.”
Kaliyev and the Kings, who have lost four of their past five games (1-2-2), will look to get back on track Tuesday night when they play host to the streaking Seattle Kraken.
Fellow forward Gabriel Vilardi, who leads the Kings with 11 goals, didn’t play Sunday because of an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day. McLellan indicated Vilardi was injured in a 3-2 overtime loss at Seattle on Nov. 19.
Kaliyev, who has scored six of his eight goals on the power play this season, stepped up to help the Kings earn a point Sunday.
“He’s a great shot, and he knows where to be, and we just try to find him,” Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson said. “(Sunday), he buried two, and it was good.”
Goaltender Jonathan Quick was also good, making 36 saves.
“We needed something because we sure didn’t start the game very well,” McLellan said. “Power play obviously gave us some life. It gave us a chance to crawl back into the game. For as poorly as we were playing, it didn’t get away on us, so that was a good thing.”
The Kraken have won five consecutive games, tying a franchise record set from Oct. 29-Nov. 8, and are 10-1-1 in their past 12 games to move past Los Angeles and into second place in the NHL’s Pacific Division.
Rookie Matty Beniers had a goal and two assists and Daniel Sprong scored the go-ahead goal in a 5-4 victory Sunday at Anaheim. Martin Jones made 25 saves.
The Ducks rallied from three two-goal deficits and their power play, which is the second worst in the league, connected three times.
“You want to play a perfect 60 (minutes),” Sprong said. “Is it going to happen every game? Probably not, but good teams still find a way to win.”
Seattle coach Dave Hakstol preferred to put it another way.
“I don’t really like the term ‘find a way to win,'” Hakstol said. “We build good wins, that’s the bottom line, so our team has confidence in that.”
Jared McCann, Alex Wennberg and Vince Dunn also scored for the Kraken, who are 7-1-1 on the road.
“Scoring goals is a lot of fun and it helps the team,” Wennberg said. “Get some confidence in myself. Yes, it’s great, but all that matters is the two points.”
The Kraken, who have scored 23 times during their five-game streak, got goals from three of their four forward lines Sunday.
“We need everybody on our bench in order to play the way that we want, in order to be able to skate and play with the energy that we want,” Hakstol said. “That was a bit of an issue in the first couple (of) periods, we didn’t have great legs.”
Seattle forward Morgan Geekie skated wobbly off the ice in the second period after colliding headfirst with teammate Adam Larsson. Geekie didn’t return with an upper-body injury and his status for Tuesday’s game is uncertain.
–Field Level Media