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game recap

Kings edge Leafs in shootout

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Dennis Ryan - NHL.com Correspondent

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Kings edge Leafs in shootout
Los Angeles Kings 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Three Stars of the Game
Jonathan Quick
1st
SA: 33TOI: 64:49
GA: 2EV: 23-25
PIM: 0PP: 7-7
SV%: .939SH: 1-1
James Reimer
2nd
SA: 42TOI: 65:00
GA: 2EV: 35-36
PIM: 0PP: 4-5
SV%: .952SH: 1-1
Dustin Brown
3rd
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 0Hits: 5
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: -1TOI: 23:06
TORONTO -- Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown scored a power-play goal and the shootout winner and Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots in a pulsating 3-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.

The victory was a much needed one for the Kings, who had lost six of seven games. It evened the record of interim coach John Stevens at 2-2, with new bench boss Darryl Sutter expected to be officially introduced Tuesday.

Stevens, who is expected to be retained as an assistant, stressed the positives of the situation the new coach is inheriting.

"The one thing he can rest assured is that we have some quality people here to build around," Stevens said of Sutter. "We've got a lot of good soldiers in the room there who are going to help us get out of this."

Monday was a good first step towards turning things around. For the first time in 12 games, the League's lowest-ranked offense scored 3 goals in a contest, peppering Leafs goaltender James Reimer with 42 shots.

Brown was particularly strong, leading the way with 6 shots on goal and 5 hits. The top line of Brown, Anze Kopitar and Simon Gagne was dangerous all night, sustaining puck possession in the Leafs' zone and cycling to create multiple scoring chances.

"It's important that we got two points," Brown said. "For everyone, it's been a long road trip -- not only with the travel, but with everything that has gone on."

Only the heroics of Reimer, who made 40 saves, kept the Leafs in the game and allowed them to gain a valuable point in the standings. Toronto coach Ron Wilson lauded his goaltender.

"He played really well, he saw just about every puck in traffic, he made some great saves," said Wilson. "He had some trouble at times handling the puck, but I'd be nitpicking. He made the saves we needed."

Reimer, who has struggled recently since after returning from a concussion, drew confidence from his performance.

"I was reading the play and the pucks were hitting me," Reimer said. "To get that result, it just gives you more confidence. When they're not going your way, you have to work hard and fight and be mentally tough to give yourself confidence and this it just gives you a little bit of a boost."

Reimer and Quick both had to be sharp right from the opening faceoff. In a wide-open first period, the Leafs outshot the Kings 15-14. Justin Williams opened the scoring at 7:54 when he took advantage of a strange bounce off a dump-in by Drew Doughty. The puck caromed off the glass right into the slot and Williams beat Reimer with a wrist shot for his fifth of the season.

The Leafs answered just over three minutes later, as Matt Frattin's aggressive forecheck forced Quick to fire the puck blindly around the boards right to Tyler Bozak. The latter then fed John Michael-Liles moving in from the left point, and Liles blasted a slap shot past Quick for his fourth goal of the season.

The Kings dominated the second period, outshooting the Leafs 16-4, and scored the only goal on a controversial play. L.A.'s struggling power play finally broke through for its first tally in seven games with Luke Schenn in the box for tripping. Doughty made a key play at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone, starting a sequence of quick passes that went from Kopitar to Gagne to a wide-open Brown in the slot, where he fired it past Reimer for his seventh goal of the season.

But Wilson thought Doughty might have failed to keep the puck inside the blue line.  

"I'm not sure if the puck was offside, but it sure looked like it," Wilson said.

Entering the third period down 2-1, the Leafs struck early to tie the game, as Frattin converted a long backdoor saucer pass from Mikhail Grabovski for his fourth goal of the season. From there the goaltenders took over, holding the fort through the final period and overtime until the Kings prevailed in the shootout.

"It was huge," Doughty said. "It kind of (stunk) that they scored that goal to tie it up late, but we were pushing back. We needed that win. We needed that two points. Brownie did a great job with a great shot in the shootout, bar down, and it was huge for us. The two points is what we came here for, and it was great to get it."

The Leafs, who have now lost five of six games, will be without forward Colby Armstrong for the immediate future as they try to right the ship on Thursday against Buffalo. Armstrong was a late scratch Monday when it was discovered he was dealing with a concussion suffered Saturday night against the Canucks.

The Kings, meanwhile, await the start of the Sutter era, which will begin at home Thursday against Anaheim.
scoring summary
1st Period
07:54
LAK
Justin Williams (5) ASST: Drew Doughty (8), Rob Scuderi (3)
1 - 0 LAK
11:01
TOR
John-Michael Liles (4) ASST: Tyler Bozak (16)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
14:58
LAK
PPG - Dustin Brown (7) ASST: Simon Gagne (10), Anze Kopitar (20)
2 - 1 LAK
3rd Period
02:56
TOR
Matt Frattin (4) ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (7), Nikolay Kulemin (10)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDTORLAK
1P. KesselJ. Stoll
2M. FrattinA. Kopitar
3J. LupulD. Brown
penalty summary
1st Period
05:19
LAK
Kevin Westgarth  Holding against  Joffrey Lupul
07:57
TOR
Jay Rosehill  Fighting (maj) against  Kyle Clifford
07:57
LAK
Kyle Clifford  Fighting (maj) against  Jay Rosehill
11:47
TOR
Joffrey Lupul  Slashing against  Dustin Brown
14:29
LAK
Trevor Lewis  Tripping against  John-Michael Liles
18:47
TOR
Luke Schenn  Boarding against  Brad Richardson
18:47
LAK
Matt Greene  Roughing against  Luke Schenn
19:23
TOR
Dion Phaneuf  Cross checking against  Dustin Brown
2nd Period
04:49
LAK
Kevin Westgarth  Hi-sticking against  Mikhail Grabovski
14:05
TOR
Luke Schenn  Tripping against  Kyle Clifford
15:23
LAK
Justin Williams  Hi-sticking against  Cody Franson
17:44
TOR
Cody Franson  Interference against  Justin Williams
18:12
LAK
Dustin Brown  Hi-sticking against  Tyler Bozak
3rd Period
04:09
TOR
John-Michael Liles  Cross checking against  Brad Richardson
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Jonathan Quick
SA: 33TOI: 64:49
Saves: 31EV: 23 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .939SH: 1 - 1
James Reimer
SA: 42TOI: 65:00
Saves: 40EV: 35 - 36
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .952SH: 1 - 1