Game 38 (18-14-6)
WINNIPEG – It wasn’t what the Los Angeles Kings had hoped for in their first trip to Winnipeg in over thirteen years but it was a well-earned point and they’ll take it as, after getting trounced in Detroit back on the 17th, the Kings have now earned points in each of their last six games since their visit to Motown.
Jonathan Bernier was given just his second start in December and he did not disappoint, making 26 saves before allowing the decisive goal to Evander Kane. Many of those 26 saves were made when most thought the Jets had a sure goal. So, although he doesn’t play as much as probably deserves to, Bernier proves just how reliable he is whenever he’s in the net.
As good as Bernier was, his counterpart Chris Mason was even better as he stopped all 31 shots he faced, in addition to being the best penalty-killer on the ice, making many key stops on a crucial 5-on-3 in the second.
Despite being booed all night, defenseman Drew Doughty gave a tireless effort for the Kings as he recorded four shots and created as many scoring chances as he could. Captain Dustin Brown led the way with six shots but again, it was Mason who made the difference.
It goes without saying that Los Angeles would have preferred the win but they did pick up three out of a possible four points on their two-game road swing. Not bad considering they had defeated Chicago the previous night, a team they have not beaten in over two years.
So, it’s back home as the Kings close out 2011 with a home date on New Year’s Eve against the Vancouver Canucks. Let’s hope the Kings can enter 2012 on a high note.
Photo: Courtesy of John Woods/Canadian Press