LOS ANGELES – Jeff Carter
’s 300-goal milestone stole the show late Monday night in the Kings’ 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks at STAPLES Center.
The Kings, coming off of an emotionally disappointing loss Saturday against Anaheim in which they ceded two power play goals, were a perfect five-for-five on the penalty kill Monday, topping off their strong defensive performance with five goals of their own.
The last of those goals, of course, being the 300th of Jeff Carter’s NHL career.
Carter, however, didn’t take the achievement too personally. “It’s good, it’s nice to get a couple goals, it’s been a while,” Carter said of hitting the milestone. “It was a big win for us, these division games are huge and we need these points so it was a good one for us.”
After a scoreless first period, the Canucks struck first when Dan Hamhuis touched home a Linden Vey pass through Jonathan Quick’s arm to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead two minutes into the second.
From there on out, the Kings pounced, scoring five unanswered goals.
The first of those came off the stick of Drew Doughty midway through the second, who’s shot from the right circle found its way through traffic, trickling through Ryan Miller and past the goal-line to give him his 13th goal of the season.
Two minutes after Doughty tied the score, Anze Kopitar gave the Kings a 2-1 lead, walking in from atop the left circle and whistling a wrist shot high past Ryan Miller's glove side while Tanner Pearson provided a screen.
Jeff Carter gave the Kings a 3-1 lead with just under nine minute to play in regulation, scoring his first goal of the night beating Miller high to glove side after speeding into Vancouver’s zone and beating defensemen wide.
Just over a minute later, Vincent Lecavalier gave the Kings a 4-1 lead when his slap shot from just inside the Canucks’ zone snuck its way through Miller’s pads.
With Ryan Miller pulled from Vancouver’s net for an extra-attacker, the Kings caused the Canucks to turnover the puck in their own zone. Lucic recovered the puck, feeding Jeff Carter, who shot the puck into the empty net to give the Kings a 5-1 lead, registering his 300th career NHL goal.
Anze Kopitar (1G, 2A) led all Kings players in points scored (3), Jeff Carter in shots taken (9), Nick Shore, Luke Schenn and Tanner Pearson in hits delivered (3), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:59). Jonathan Quick made 21 saves in the win.
The Kings will continue their five-game home stand Wednesday night when they host the Washington Capitals at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.