LOS ANGELES –
Four second period goals quarterbacked the Kings to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday afternoon at STAPLES Center.
Five different players scored for the Kings, and eight recorded at least a point in what was a welcoming offensive outburst against the Penguins – who the Kings failed to score a single goal against in two meetings last season.
After a scoreless first, the Kings’ offense went full throttle, including a 2:35 minute span where they scored three goals.
Just over two minutes into the second period, and mere seconds into the Kings’ second power play of the day, Drew Doughty dialed up for his fourth goal of the season to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Upon winning an offensive zone faceoff, Jake Muzzin fed Doughty a cross-ice pass, which he one-timed high past Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove side.
All of Doughty’s goals this season (4) have come on the power play. He is tied for the team-lead in that department, and third among NHL defensemen in PP goals scored.
Midway through the second, and after causing the Penguins to turnover the puck in the Kings’ zone, Christian Ehrhoff followed Marian Gaborik on a three-on-two rush into Pittsburgh’s zone. Gaborik, upon entering the zone, dropped the puck for Ehrhoff, who walked in and fired a wrist shot that beat Fleury to the blocker side.
For Ehrhoff, a former Penguin, it was his first goal in a Kings uniform.
Just over a minute after Ehrhoff’s goal, Milan Lucic followed suit to give the Kings a 3-0 lead. Jake Muzzin blocked a Penguins shot in the Kings’ zone, and the puck kicked out to Lucic, who took it all the way to the top of the right circle before firing a wrist shot through Fleury’s five-hole.
Chris Kunitz scored 23 seconds after Lucic’s goal to get Pittsburgh on the board.
The Kings responded, though, Jake Muzzin scoring his second goal of the season. After some heavy forechecking work by Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown low in Pittsburgh’s zone, Muzzin was found open high in Pittsburgh’s slot, where he fired a wrist shot high to the short side to give the Kings their fourth goal of the day.
Pittsburgh’s Olli Matta scored with 1:59 to play in the second; the Kings took a 4-2 lead into the third.
Just over two minutes into the final frame, Sidney Crosby tipped home a Brian Dumoulin shot past Jonathan Quick to inch the Penguins to within a goal, but that’s as close as they would get.
Milan Lucic added an empty-net goal with 1:15 to play to secure the Kings’ win.
Jake Muzzin led all Kings players on the roster in points scored (3), Marian Gaborik
in shots taken (7), Brayden McNabb
and Kyle Clifford
in hits delivered (4), Jake Muzzin
in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty
in minutes played (30:08). Jonathan Quick
made 17 saves in the loss.
The Kings will wrap-up their home stand Sunday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at STAPLES Center, with the puck scheduled to drop just after 7:00PM PST.