The Kings got their first taste of road hockey Thursday night, but comfortable they looked in their 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center.
Thursday’s win was the third consecutive for the Kings; they’ve rebounded completely to break even on their lackluster start to the season where they strung together three straight losses. It was also a means of revenge, striking back against the Sharks, who ruined the Kings’ home opener on October 7th, defeating the Kings 5-1.
Jhonas Enroth made his Kings debut, making 39 saves on 40 shots, and standing up to a pretty strong test from coach Darryl Sutter, who’s decision to start the backup goaltender against the offensively-heavy Sharks was a surprise to many.
The Kings, though, helped Enroth by building a two-goal lead in the first period, even though they were outshot 18-8 through the first 20 minutes. Just after the midway mark of the opening frame, Alec Martinez chipped a puck off the glass out of the Kings’ zone to Toffoli, who entered San Jose’s zone, slowed down the play, and beat Martin Jones with a move that simply cannot be taught.
Just prior to the end of the first, with the Kings working on their first power play of the evening, Milan Lucic
scored his first goal as a member of the Kings, redirecting a Christian Ehrhoff
shot past Martin Jones
to give the Kings a two-goal lead heading into the first intermission.
Three minutes into the second, Drew Doughty
broke up a play in the Kings’ zone, then pushed the puck ahead for Jeff Carter
, who sped through the neutral zone and in on Martin Jones
on a two-on-one with Milan Lucic
. Opting to shoot instead of pass, Carter beat Jones through the five-hole to give the Kings a 3-0 lead, registering his first goal of the season.
San Jose got on the board late in the second when Joel Ward received a pass from behind the Kings’ net and chipped a backhander past Enroth to cut the Kings’ lead to two.
Jeff Carter netted his second goal of the game, giving the Kings a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to play in regulation with the help from a wacky bounce. After winning an offensive zone faceoff, Carter corralled the puck and took a shot high and wide that caromed off of the backboards, over the net, and off Martin Jones’ shoulder and in.
Jeff Carter led all Kings players in points scored (2G, 2A = 4), Trevor Lewis
in shots taken (5), Jake Muzzin
in hits delivered (5), Trevor Lewis
in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty
in minutes played (24:41). Jhonas Enroth
made 39 saves in the win.
Darryl Sutter recorded his 550th win as a NHL head coach, surpassing Marc Crawford for 14th on the league’s all-time coaching wins list. Sutter also notched his 142nd win as the Kings’ head coach, surpassing Terry Murray for 4th all-time on the club’s list.
The Kings will return home Friday night to take on the Carolina Hurricanes at STAPLES Center, slated for a 7:30PM PST start, before heading back out on a quick two-game road trip through Edmonton and Winnipeg.