Just one day after smothering the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-1, the Los Angeles Kings took on another defensive-minded team; the St Louis Blues. Tuesday, Mar 5 was a truly memorable game. A game in which both teams wound up pulling their starting goaltenders. A game in which the Kings would find themselves trailing 4-1 after just 26 mins of playing time. A game in which the Kings would allow 3 unanswered goals, before ringing up 5 unanswered of their own. Indeed it was a curious evening.
The Kings were playing rare back to back home games. Just one night earlier, they had chased starting goalie Pekka Rinne, by scoring 5 goals on 13 shots. Tuesday night, they chased Blues' starting goalie Jaroslav Halak, by scoring 5 goals on 21 shots. This night however, Kings' goalie Jonathan Bernier had already been replaced by Jonathan Quick after allowing 3 goals on 8 shots.
Jeff Carter again had the game-winning goal, just as he had the previous night.
Defenseman Jake Muzzin, who got the chance to play this season due to injuries to Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell, continues to prove himself worthy. The 24 year old blueliner scored 2 goals and had an assist against St Louis.
The Kings also continued complete domination of the late stages of games. Again, as they had against the Predators, they scored 4 unanswered goals in the final period. They outshot the Blues, 16-4 in the final stanza.
The Blues had built a 4-1 lead with just over six mins elapsed in the second period. Slava Voynov then scored at 13:38 of the period, to cut the lead to 4-2. The period ended with the Kings down by 2 goals, but having limited the visiting team to only 3 shots.
The Kings then sunk the Blues in the third period. It took just under 14 mins of playing time for Mike Richards, Jake Muzzin, Jeff Carter, and Anze Kopitar to put the game safely out of reach. One of the most satisfying comeback victories the Kings will have this season, and one which will stick with Kings fans for years to come. That's why very few Kings fans leave games early.
Final score: Kings 6, St Louis 4
Final Shots on goal: Kings 29, St Louis 14
Three Stars of the game:
#1) Jake Muzzin (2G, 1A)
#2) Drew Doughty ( 2 assists)
#3) Justin Williams (3 assists)
Kings overall record is 12-7-2 (Fourth place in Western conference)
The defending Stanley Cup champions are back. Winners in 9 of their last 11, they are now playing up to expectations. Playing their best hockey in the biggest moments of games, the team has only allowed 2 third period goals in the last nine games.
Against Nashville and St Louis this week, the Kings scored a combined 11 goals against two teams known for playing good defensive hockey.
Jeff Carter has now scored 11 goals in his last 11 games. He has 15 tallies this season, which is second only to Steve Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos leads the NHL with 17 goals.
All three games will be played at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
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