The Chicago Blackhawks' point streak from the start of the season, which ended Friday at 21-0-3, was extraordinary for many reasons. Thirteen players had at least one game-winning goal and Patrick Kane scored a team-leading 27 points. The most goals the Hawks gave up was four, to Phoenix on Jan. 20, and they scored five or more five times. They gave up only nine power-play goals and yielded two in a game only once, to the Kings on Feb. 17. Before losing to Colorado, the Blackhawks had won a franchise-record 11 straight games — and their franchise entered the NHL in 1926. They'll have to be careful now to avoid an emotional letdown.
The Montreal Canadiens have been a big surprise in the Eastern Conference, winning on the strength of an ensemble effort supported by Carey Price's strong goaltending. Coach Michel Therrien has done a good job but now will go at least 10 days without gritty winger Brandon Prust, who suffered a shoulder separation on Saturday.
Forward Jeff Carter arrived in Los Angeles with a tarnished reputation. His party-boy reputation led the Philadelphia Flyers to trade him to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he was criticized for pouting his way out of Columbus in a trade for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick. Carter has redeemed himself, scoring eight goals and 13 points in the Kings' Stanley Cup drive and 17 goals this season, tied for second in the NHL to Steven Stamkos' 19 for Tampa Bay.