December 10, 2014

A major reason for the Los Angeles Kings' slip from the NHL's elite last season was their inability to win on the road.

That hasn't been much of an issue during their resurgence.

Los Angeles continues its road-heavy stretch looking to push its point streak to 10 on Monday night against the Ottawa Senators.

The Kings' 15-18-8 mark away from home in 2014-15 contributed to them becoming the first defending Stanley Cup champion since Carolina in 2006-07 to miss the playoffs.

Los Angeles (19-8-2), though, has surged to a comfortable lead atop the Pacific Division this season, in part because of an 8-3-2 record on the road. It earned at least a point in a fifth consecutive road game with a 2-1 overtime loss to Buffalo on Saturday, its fourth stop on a six-game trip.

That also snapped a six-game overall winning streak for the Kings, who are in the midst of playing 10 of 11 on the road. They'll next play at Staples Center against San Jose on Dec. 22, then embark on a four-game trip following the holiday break.

Los Angeles couldn't get much going offensively one night after a 3-2 shootout win over Pittsburgh. Marian Gaborik scored on the club's first shot nearly five minutes into the first period, and the Kings wound up with just 21 on net after having at least 40 in each of the previous two.

Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves as Jonathan Quick got the night off for the Kings, 7-0-2 in their last nine overall.

''We had opportunities to finish to win it,'' coach Darryl Sutter said. "Other than that, that's what a backup's job is - come in and get your points. Nothing around it. Backup goalie, your fifth, sixth, seventh defenseman, fourth line - they've got to win you these games (in back-to-backs)."

Mike Hoffman scored to give the Senators a 1-0 victory Feb. 26, ending the Kings' four-game winning streak in the series. Ottawa (15-10-5) enters this matchup following Saturday's 3-1 loss to Montreal that concluded a 1-3-0 road trip.

The Senators scored one goal in each defeat, with Jean-Gabriel Pageau getting his second goal of the trip against the Canadiens. They spent most of the first period on the defensive, though, as Montreal put 27 shots on net and scored twice.

Craig Anderson was pulled early in the second after allowing three goals on 31 shots. Chris Driedger stopped all 11 he faced, then was sent down to the AHL on Sunday to make room for Andrew Hammond after he completed an conditioning assignment.

"Considering the situation and the body language that I was giving off and the frame of mind we all were in, I think it was the right play to get a jump start by changing the goalie," Anderson said.

Anderson has started 14 straight, going 1-5-2 with a 2.59 goals-against average in that stretch. He's 1-7-4 with a 3.82 GAA in his career against the Kings, and it's uncertain if he'll get the nod in this contest.

Quick likely will be back in goal Monday. He's 7-0-1 with a 1.57 GAA in his last eight and has posted a 2.01 GAA while winning five of seven career starts against the Senators.

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