Game 48; 29-14-5
ST. LOUIS - Exactly two weeks ago, they were embarrassed at the Scottrade Center, losing 5-0 to the hometown Blues. On Thursday night, the previous game seemed like a distant memory.
This was the rubber match of the three-game season series between the Kings and Blues. Los Angeles, looking for back-to-back wins, started off strong as Jake Muzzin opened things up 2:31 into the contest with his third of the year. Colin Fraser and Jordan registered the assists.
The Blues had to wait until the second but they answered via the penalty shot. TJ Oshie potted his 11th past Quick at the 5:55 mark of the frame to knot things up.
After 40 minutes the Kings led St. Louis 17-13 in shots and while Quick was good, Jaroslav Halak, who hasn't seen as much action against Los Angeles recent, was the better of the two netminders. In the third, though, Quick stepped up his game while the guys in front of him gave him some breathing room.
The Kings wasted little time regaining their lead in the third as just 2:04 into the frame, Trevor Lewis potted his first of the season past Halak to regain the Los Angeles lead. While the goal originally went to Dwight King, the decision was changed shortly following the game. Slava Voynov and Jonathan Quick picked up the assists. But for those who thought Lewis would be content with just the one goal were mistaken.
Just over two minutes later and 10 seconds into a St. Louis power play, Lewis struck again with his second of the period, this time of the shorthanded variety. The wrap-around fooled Halak who was only forced to see Los Angeles take a two-goal lead.
On the other end, Jonathan Quick made some key saves, including a late glove save off Patrik Berglund to keep the lead at two. But before the Kings could celebrate a win, they saw the contest marred with controversy as the aforementioned Jake Muzzin laid out a borderline hit on St. Louis's Vladimir Sobotka. While the Blues forward was in the neutral zone with the puck, Muzzin appeared to make contact with Sobotka moving upwards, catching the Slovak under the chin. The hit left many on the Blues side irate - and for good reason - but it was too little, too late to mount any sort of a comeback.
Jeff Carter iced the game, potting his team-leading 17th into an empty net to clinch the victory for Los Angeles. Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov had the assists.
Overall, a much better effort tonight than two weeks earlier for the Kings. Of course, that goes without saying.
While they were were outhit 33-29 on this night, the Kings were very disciplined for much of the night taking four penalties, three of which came in the third period. Not only were they perfect on the penalty kill but they were able to score as well - something they don't do much of when down a man.
Jonathan Quick was solid, stopping 28 saves to earn his 164th-career win, moving him to within seven victories of Rogie Vachon's franchise mark.
In addition to Quick's performance and Lewis's pair of goals, Slava Voynov chipped in with a pair of assists while Drew Doughty finished the evening with a team-best +5 rating.
Thursday's result was certainly an ideal way to start a road trip as the Kings win their season series over the Blues. But now, it's off to Motown where the silver-and-black have a Saturday date with the Detroit Red Wings.