NHL pluses and minuses: Ben Scrivens steps up for Kings

The goalie leads the league in shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage. The Detroit Red Wings are 0-1-6 in their last seven home games.

Helene Elliott

6:00 PM CST, November 18, 2013


Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the previous week:


+ Ben Scrivens might have saved the Kings' season after Jonathan Quick sustained a groin injury last week. Scrivens took over in goal with 1:20 left in overtime at Buffalo and absorbed the shootout loss but stopped 86 of 88 shots in winning the next three games, including back-to-back shutouts at New Jersey and at New York against the Rangers. Scrivens leads the NHL in shutouts (three), goals-against average (1.24) and save percentage (.955).

+ After 16 years of needless exile, Ted Nolan won his first game of his second stint as the Buffalo Sabres' coach. Nolan replaced Ron Rolston, who was in well over his head. Good luck to Nolan and Pat LaFontaine, the new director of hockey operations, as they try to restore the team's competitiveness and credibility.

+ The Washington Capitals held the St. Louis Blues to a season-low one goal Sunday and extended their winning streak to three. Alexander Ovechkin has four goals in that span — two of them game-winners — and has tied Blues forward Alex Steen for the league goalscoring lead, at 17. The Caps have won seven of their last 10 games.


- Joe Louis Arena — better known as The Joe — used to be an intimidating place for visiting teams. Not so much anymore, with the Red Wings 0-1-6 in their last seven home games. Overall, they're winless in their last six. They've gone beyond regulation five straight times and have lost all five.

- A three-game losing streak has brought the Colorado Avalanche back to earth after a sizzling start. Now they'll have to compensate for the absence of their top scorer, Matt Duchene, who injured an oblique muscle Saturday. Duchene (12 goals, 20 points) is expected to be out for about a week.

- Finishing has become a problem for the Vancouver Canucks, who have been outscored, 12-4, in a 0-3-1 slump. Is Coach John Tortorella playing Ryan Kesler and the Sedin twins too much? Through Sunday's games Kesler (22 minutes 47 seconds), Henrik Sedin (22:32) and Daniel Sedin (22:05) ranked 1-3-4 in ice time among NHL forwards.