The Los Angeles Kings wanted a good tune-up for the regular season when they played the Hamburg Freezers Tuesday night at O2 World Arena in their final preseason game.
Well, they are getting just that. After two periods here, the Kings lead 4-3, taking their fourth lead of the game as Brad Richardson scored the go-ahead goal with just 16 seconds left in the second period.
The Kings got off to a dream start, scoring just 36 seconds into the game.
Justin Williams' goal, on the first shot of the game, was a seemingly harmless wrister from the right circle that seemed to handcuff John Curry, the Hamburg goalie. Curry played the past several seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins' system. This is his first year with Hamburg.
After carrying the play for close to five minutes, the Freezers were rewarded with a power-play goal that tied the game at 1-1. Former NHLer Serge Aubin, who played 374 NHL games for Columbus, Colorado and Atlanta, beat Jonathan Quick with a nasty shot from the slot with 7:09 left.
On the very next shift, Alex Martinez restored the lead for the Kings, snapping home a brilliant feed from Dustin Brown, who used the wide ice of the Olympic-sized rink here to give himself some separation.
However, with a little more than two minutes remaining in the period, Kevin Schmidt, from Markham, Ont., pinched in from the point and received a perfect pass, which he fired over Quick's shoulder to tie the game heading into intermission.
In the second period, the teams exchanged goals again to send it into the third deadlocked.
The Kings failed on a pair of power plays in the first half of the second period and then watched as Hamburg scored on the counter-attack to take a 3-2 lead midway through.
The Freezers earned the goal, as they dominated play on the scoring shift before Aubin scored on his own rebound after Quick had made two initial saves on the sequence. It was Aubin's second goal of the game.
Just as was the case in the first period, though, Hamburg couldn't hold a lead as the Kings stormed back and got a goal from Anze Kopitar after passes from Justin Williams and Scott Parse, who is in a dogfight to make this team.
Quick was pulled after the goal in a pre-planned move as Kings coach Terry Murray put in Jonathan Bernier for the second half of the game
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is making his preseason debut in this game after signing a new long-term deal late last week and has already made two good defensive plays.