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Hammond, Senators end Kings' winning streak

by Curtis Zupke /

LOS ANGELES -- Andrew Hammond stood in front of the scrum of reporters and stated what everybody was thinking regarding his meteoric rise.

"It's obviously pretty crazy what's going on right now," Hammond said.

The first-year goalie made 35 saves for his second shutout in as many nights, Mike Hoffman scored in the third period and the Ottawa Senators ended the Los Angeles Kings' eight-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory at Staples Center on Thursday.

Hammond outdueled Jonathan Quick of the Kings, who made 27 saves. The 27-year-old has won all four of his NHL starts and stopped 131 of 136 shots since being called up because of injuries to starter Craig Anderson and backup Robin Lehner.

Hammond shut out the Anaheim Ducks and Kings on consecutive nights, and his win against Quick prompted another good one-liner.

"I don't think too many people expected a goalie battle between Quick and the Hamburglar tonight," Hammond said in reference to his nickname. "When you're playing someone like that and someone that you kind of watch; obviously he's close in age to me, but he's someone you look up to as an NHL goalie. He's won two Stanley Cups now. Whenever you can play a guy like that, it's obviously a pretty cool feeling."

The Senators (26-23-10) completed a back-to-back sweep of the Kings and Ducks by a combined score of 4-0. They have won five of six, moved within five points of the Boston Bruins, who hold the second wild-card playoff position in the Eastern Conference, and have a game in hand.

Hammond has quickly become a great story. His parents saw him play in person for the first time at Honda Center and they were in attendance in L.A. Will they make the trip for the game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday?

"They weren't planning on it, but they might have to now," he said. "They seem to be pretty good luck charms."

The Kings (29-19-12) were attempting to tie a franchise record with their ninth consecutive victory, accomplished from Jan. 21-Feb. 6, 2010. They got a 6-on-4 advantage in the final two minutes and Hammond made a left pad save on Tyler Toffoli's shot in the slot off Marian Gaborik's pass.

Mika Zibanejad took an offensive zone hooking penalty to give the Kings the power play and, with an extra attacker, the two-man advantage.

"I wasn't very happy with that," Zibanejad said. "Scared. I mean, it's never a good thing. They have a good power play."

Ottawa ended Quick's shutout streak at 142:44 when Hoffman scored his 21st goal 1:40 into the third period. Zibanejad slipped behind the Kings defense on the right side and made cross-ice pass to Hoffman, who lifted the puck past an outstretched Quick. The goal was Hoffman's 21st, tying him with Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators for the most among rookies.

Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said he wasn't nervous during the final minute and was matter-of-fact about not being surprised by Hammond's play.

"No, I've been around a long time," Cameron said. "You know there's going to be push back. When you have a team sitting here at home that's an elite team, and you're on your back-to-back, you're going to be back on your heels at different times. That's why Hammond's performance was huge tonight."

On Wednesday, Hammond became the second goalie in Ottawa history to win each of his first three NHL starts and the first to do so in three straight starts when he shut out the Ducks 3-0. He more than held his own with Quick. Hammond made saves on Jeff Carter and Dwight King on a rush, and Quick stopped Cody Ceci in the second period.

The Kings went scoreless on four power plays but couldn't get a puck past Hammond. The Dwight King-Jeff Carter-Toffoli line combined for 13 shots.

It was a surprising loss considering the Kings have rounded into Stanley Cup form during their streak. They scored 26 goals during the eight-game streak.

"Tonight we had our fair share of looks," King said. "Their goalie was up to the task. We just have to find ways to get to the rebounds. Tonight that was a probably the big thing. There was quite a few kicking around and we couldn't get them in."

Ottawa had Curtis Lazar and Jean-Gabriel Pageau hit the post in the second, and the Kings had a goal waved off early in the period.

The Kings killed their 17th, 18th and 19th consecutive penalties.

Newly acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera did not play. He is expected to make his Kings debut against the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter faulted his defense and cited a need for better offensive balance going into an important Pacific Division game.

"I thought our defense was really slow moving pucks and in the second we passed the puck to them," Sutter said. "It probably should have been 2-1 them after that and then in the third we just couldn't get the goal.

"Jeff Carter's line was really good, but I think that after that, it was pretty much zero."

Ottawa beat the Kings at Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 11, 2000. The Kings were 12-1 with one tie all-time against Ottawa at home.

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