LOS ANGELES — Jake Muzzin scored two goals and tallied an assist to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans at Staples Center on March 5.
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo opened the scoring at 15:09 of the first period, and he jumped up into the play after the Kings coughed up the puck behind their own net. Pietrangelo ended up in the left corner, where he tried to throw the puck in front to forward David Perron, who drove hard to the front of the net when the Kings turned the puck over. Kings defenseman Slava Voynov tried to fight off Perron, but the puck deflected off Voynov and into the net.
Muzzin tied the game at the 15:52 mark on a shot from the top of the left circle, but less than three minutes later, Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka deflected a rather innocent-looking wrist shot from left point. The puck trickled through heavy traffic, beating Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier through the five-hole at 18:50.
Another deflection beat Bernier at 1:14 of the second period, this time by Perron. Forward Chris Stewart gave the Blues a 4-1 lead at 6:31, taking advantage of a defensive breakdown by the Kings. He got the puck in the left circle and was able to take the puck to left crease where he backhanded the puck past Jonathan Quick, who came on in relief after Perron’s goal.
But then the Halak Follies began.
At 13:38, Voynov fired a wrist shot from outside the right circle, beating Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak under his left arm, just inside the right goal post…a soft goal.
After center Mike Richards scored at 1:33 of the third period, Muzzin scored his second goal of the game when he carried the puck down left wing, outside the left face-off dot. From the goal line, he wristed the puck towards the net, beating Halak just inside the left goal post.
On the play, Halak got caught cheating to his left, expecting a pass…another soft goal.
Red-hot forward Jeff Carter ripped a wrist shot from the left face-off dot at the 6:09 mark to give the Kings a 5-4 lead.
Brian Elliott came on in relief of Halak after that goal, but center Anze Kopitar added an insurance marker at 14:51 on the wide open slot from the slot to close out the scoring.
Halak allowed five goals on 21 shots, earning the loss. Elliott made seven saves in relief.
Bernier made five saves—none of three goals he allowed could be blamed on him. Quick stopped five shots, and was credited with the win in relief.
- The Kings have now won seven of their last eight games, outscoring opponents 30-16. They have also won nine of their last eleven games, outscoring opponents 38-21.
- The Kings have now won six straight games at home, and are 7-1-1 overall at home this season.
- The Kings have now outscored their opponents 25-12 in the third period this season, and 8-1 in the last two games.
- The last time the Kings trailed by three goals in a game and won was April 6, 2010, at Anaheim (trailed 4-1 and won 5-4 in shootout).
- Five different Kings had multi-point games.
- Muzzin had a career high three points (two goals and an assist).
- Justin Williams tied a career-high with three assists.
- Kopitar (goal, assist), Mike Richards (goal, assist) and Drew Doughty (two assists) also had multi-point games.
- Carter now has nine goals in the last eight games, and eleven goals in the last eleven games. He also earned his league-leading sixth game-winning goal.
- Kopitar now has eleven points in the last seven games (three goals, eight assists).
- Richards now has eleven points in the last eleven games (five goals, six assists).
- Dustin Penner now has assists in three straight games (tying a career high).
- Voynov has seven points in the last six games (two goals, five assists).
Raw Audio Interviews
(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed; click on the arrow to listen):
St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock (1:08)
Frozen Royalty Video via YouTube – Interviews From St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings, March 5, 2013
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My man Kopi(s)tar broke his at-least-point-a-game streak the night before, but managed to get back on track last night.
Having in mind he came from Europe with injury – this is not a bad season for him. Neither is for Kings. There are signs that their form is on the way up. Who knows – they might repeat last season’t achievements…