NHL history is on the line Thursday night when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Montreal Canadiens, as the Kings have started this season with 10 consecutive road wins, and no team has ever stretched such a run to 11. It's all but sure that the Canadiens players and coaches know this and will bring their A-game, but Los Angeles is a -220 favorite on the SportsLine consensus.
The 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, a club led by Daniel Briere, Thomas Vanek and goaltender Ryan Miller, were the only other team to win the first 10 road games of a season. Their first such loss was a 4-1 setback at Ottawa thanks to three third-period goals from the Senators. That Buffalo team finished atop the Northwest Division – there were three divisions back then – with 113 points, the most in the Eastern Conference, but lost in the conference finals in five games to those same Senators.
Los Angeles has 33 points through its 22 games (only one team has played fewer) and sits second in the Pacific Division; it would be in first place if not for a mediocre 5-4-3 home mark. The Kings tied the Sabres' mark with an unlikely 4-3 overtime win in Columbus. Los Angeles trailed 3-0 entering the third period. Drew Doughty scored 33 seconds into overtime to win it. L.A. hadn't even trailed in a road game since Oct. 27 at Arizona.
There had not been a single three-goal, third-period comeback win in the NHL this season until the Kings and Sharks both did it Tuesday. It was the first such victory for Los Angeles in 16 years. The Kings became the first team to extend an overall, home or road winning streak of nine or more games by staging a three-goal, third-period comeback.
Perhaps consider an Over 0.5 points wager on both Trevor Moore (-130) and Anze Kopitar (-160) on Thursday. They can become the first Los Angeles players with a season-opening road point streak of at least 11 games since Wayne Gretzky, who fired off a 16-game streak. Moore has seven goals and eight assists in the 10 games and Kopitar six goals and six assists. But it's Adrian Kempe at +140 who is the favored anytime goalscorer, which seems peculiar because he only has eight goals on the season and none in his past five.
The NHL single-season record for consecutive road wins is 12 by the 2005-06 Detroit Red Wings and 2014-15 Minnesota Wild. The overall regular-season record is 15 by the Colorado Avalanche, but spread over the end of the 2022-23 season and start of this one. The Avs hit 15 with a win at the Islanders on Oct. 24 but lost two nights later in Pittsburgh.
The Kings beat visiting Montreal 4-0 in Los Angeles on Nov. 25 and have won six straight in the series. Cam Talbot (11-4-1, 1.96 GAA) will be in net for the Kings on Thursday, whill Sam Montembeault (6-3-1, 2.66) will get the call for the Habs.
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