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Streaking Kings host struggling Senators

From FOX Sports - December 7, 2017

LOS ANGELESThe red-hot Los Angeles Kings will attempt to extend a season-best, six-game winning streak when they oppose the struggling Ottawa Senators on Thursday night at Staples Center.

Los Angeles (18-8-3) used a four-goal third period rally to defeat the visiting Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Tuesday night. Marian Gaborik registered two goals, Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists, and Drew Doughty posted three assists in support of a 19-save performance by goaltender Jonathan Quick.

The final-period blitz was consistent with Los Angeles play this season, as the Kings have outscored the opposition 40-13 in the third period. Los Angeles penchant for starting games slowly reared its head, producing a lethargic 40 minutes against the Wild before the offense kicked into gear.

I thought the third period was terrific, Kings coach John Stevens said. I actually thought it was a pretty good hockey game overall. There was really tight checking by both teams and they made a good play and caught a break to come back and scored after we tied it up, so we just tried to get regrouped.

Its probably as good a third period as weve had this year in terms of moving the puck, getting it deep, coming up with loose pucks, and scoring goals goes without saying, but I thought that was just a really solid third period coming off a road trip.

Gaborik (four goals, two assists in seven games) has been an impact player since returning Nov. 24 at Arizona. He missed the seasons first 22 contests while recovering from offseason knee surgery.

His two goals against Minnesota included the 400th of his career, which extended the Kings lead to 4-2. Stevens had moved him to the wing in support of Kopitar and Dustin Brown, who are experiencing bounce-back seasons.

With Gaborik off to a hot start and having played with Kopitar and Brown at length in previous seasons, he could remain in the role that was filled by rookie Alex Iafallo in his absence.

I think getting more comfortable each game, and obviously the lines change, but its a long season, Gaborik said. (The lines are) going to be going back and forth, but whatever it takes to win games. Tonight, it clicked pretty well for us.

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