While most of the top teams in February had rolled over success from recent seasons, two unlikely franchises equaled the Lightning’s league-best six-game win streak. First, it was the Los Angeles Kings, who finished last in the Western Conference in 2019 and needed a seven-game win streak to close last season to avoid the same fate. Their streak was snapped by the Minnesota Wild, who were on a six-game win streak of their own before losing to the first-place Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.
The Kings, one of the league’s youngest teams, have been fueled largely by the resurgence of the remaining veteran core from their Stanley Cup wins in 2012 and 2014. Center Anze Kopitar, defenseman Drew Doughty and wing Dustin Brown have rediscovered their peak form and production, while goaltending and special teams have also aided L.A.’s turnaround.
Minnesota, on the other hand, has been buoyed by young forwards who have complemented their mobile, veteran defense corps brilliantly. Center Joel Eriksson Ek and wing Jordan Greenway have played their way from the third line to the first, now teaming up with wing Kevin Fiala. And the Wild’s second line was scorching during the team’s streak.
Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov and Victor Rask accumulated nine goals and 17 assists in February. Kaprizov leads all rookies in points, assists and plus-minus rating.
For scoring, look to the North.
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