Game 33; 22-7-4
OTTAWA – After wins in Montreal and Toronto, the Los Angeles Kings were hoping to go 3-0 on their current road trip in Ottawa. Visiting Canada’s capital for the first time in over three years, the silver-and-black were hoping to set the tone early – and that’s just what they did.
Just 21 seconds into the game, Dwight King added to his career-high with eighth of the year to put Los Angeles out in front right off the bat. Jeff Carter and Jake Muzzin assisted on the goal. But the Kings were just getting warmed up.
Just under four minutes later, it was Jeff Carter who took a routine shot that found its way through the legs of netminder Craig Anderson and in. The goal was Carter’s ninth and just the fourth shot on goal for Los Angeles which led to Anderson getting pulled in favour of Robin Lehner. On Tuesday, the Kings chased an Olympic hopeful netminder in Carey Price and on this day, they did the same to another as Craig Anderson hopes to crack the Team USA squad in Sochi.
A little later in the period (the 12:56 mark to be exact), Anze Kopitar snapped his 10th past Lehner to give the Kings a three-goal lead – and that’s where it stood at the intermission with the Sens outshooting Los Angeles 9-8.
There wasn’t as much excitement in the second period but the Senators did get on the board thanks to former King Joe Corvo. The defenseman scored his third on the stick side of Martin Jones at 13:51 to pull Ottawa to within a pair. Yet despite firing 15 shots on Jones in the middle frame, the Sens couldn’t muster anything else.
At the 4:24 mark of the third, the Senators made it interesting as Erik Karlsson’s point shot found its way past Jones and in. The goal was the 2012 Norris winner’s ninth and just like that, it was a game again.
Last time these two clubs met in October, the Kings had a 3-0 lead only to squander it. Needless to say, the Sens were hoping for a bit of déjà vu. Unfortunately, Martin Jones had other ideas.
In the third, Ottawa fired another 15 shots against the rookie netminder only be turned away 14 of those times – and the Kings offense helped him out.
At 13:18 of the third, Drew Doughty flew in to the zone, was stopped by Lehner but the rebound was picked up by a streaking Jarret Stoll who cashed in with his fourth to give Los Angeles some much-needed insurance. Jake Muzzin picked up his second helper of the game on the tally.
For extra measure, the Kings, on the power play, restored their three-goal lead, as Anze Kopitar sniped his second of the day with just over three minutes remaining to cement it. Dwight King and Jeff Carter added the assists.
The clock ran down and the Los Angeles Kings found themselves winners of six in a row thanks to a convincing winner at the Canadian Tire Centre with Martin Jones keeping up his spectacular play making 37 saves en route to the victory.
Overall, a very impressive performance by the silver-and-black who struck early and often while getting a solid collective effort for another two points.
While a part of me wanted to see Martin Jones earn another first star, the first star of this game was just as deserving as Dwight King scored the first goal setting the tone while adding two assists while linemate Jeff Carter also had a goal and two helpers.
While it is a big win, the Kings have no time for rest as they travel to Chicago hoping to avenge themselves against a Blackhawks squad who eliminated them from the playoffs last spring.