LOS ANGELES — It was fast, it was physical and it was just another victory for the Los Angeles Kings.
Justin Williams scored his team-high sixth goal of the season in front of a sellout crowd at Staples Center and the Kings held on to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 1-0, to maintain the best record in the NHL.
Williams scored 5 minutes 20 seconds into the third period on another pretty effort by he and second-line mates Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll.
Tampa Bay (7-3-2) had possession of the puck in their own defensive zone when defenseman Mathieu Roy tried to pass it to center Dana Tyrell but the puck went off Tyrell’s skate just inside the blue line and slid back toward a trailing Smyth.
Smyth, who will play in his 1,000th NHL game Saturday against visiting Nashville, recovered the puck and heading the other way, finding Williams coming down the left side. Williams received the pass with his back to the goal, rotated 180 degrees and beat Mike Smith on his glove side for his team-high sixth goal of the season. It’s also the fourth consecutive game Williams has scored a goal, tying a career high.
Jonathan Quick had 24 saves to record his first shutout since a 1-0 victory over the Islanders in March.
The Kings (9-3-0) came in tied for third in the league on the penalty kill and they wiped out three more man-advantage situations, making the 46-of-51 on the season.
More to come from the locker room.