Backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth
pitched a 24-save shutout, the sixth of his NHL career, to lead the Kings to a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night at the Scottrade Center.
For the Blues, it was their first regulation loss at home this season.
It came at a price, though.
The Kings lost Anze Kopitar
to an upper-body injury after he took an elbow to the side of the head from Blues forward Ryan Reaves late in the first period. Kopitar, who seemed to be bleeding upon returning to the bench, returned to the game for one more shift, but did not join the team on the bench at the start of the second period.
After a scoreless opening frame, which saw the Kings outshoot St. Louis 12-5, Jeff Carter netted his fifth goal of the season to break the stalemate.
Working while on a four-on-three powerplay, Drew Doughty, quarterbacking the puck mid-high in St. Louis zone, found Carter down low to the left of the Blues’ net with a pass. Carter, with time and space, found an opening between Jake Allen’s pads and the left post, and snuck a shot past the Blues goaltender to give the Kings a 1-0 lead with 4:08 to play in the second.
Doughty, with the primary assist on Carter’s goal, now has six assists in the last five games.
The Kings, who failed to hold a one-goal lead Monday night in Chicago, were able to do so Tuesday at Scottrade Center.
With under five minutes to play, after a barrage of pressure put on by St. Louis, Tanner Pearson struck for his second goal of the season to give the Kings a 2-0 lead.
Brayden McNabb initiated the play from the Kings’ zone, then joined Tyler Toffoli and Pearson on a three-on-two rush, where Pearson was the beneficiary of the well-executed attack, one-timing a shot home past Allen’s glove side.
Trevor Lewis tacked on an empty-net goal with 45 seconds to play to secure the Kings’ 3-0 win.
The Kings have won 19 of their last 24 games against the Blues, including postseason.
Tanner Pearson (1G, 1A) and Jeff Carter (1G, 1A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Marian Gaborik in shots taken (5), Milan Lucic in hits delivered (6), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (5), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:35). Jhonas Enroth made 24 saves in the win.
The Kings now return home to Los Angeles, where they’ll begin a five-game home stand when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night at STAPLES Center, with the puck slated to drop just after 7:30PM PST.