The Kings didn’t leave empty-handed in their road trip finale Wednesday night, picking up a point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.
For the Kings, their five-game venture outside Los Angeles ended with a .500 mark, where they pocketed five of a possible 10 points in posting a 2-2-1 record.
Wednesday’s contest against the defending Eastern Conference Champions was a phenomenally played hockey game, although the lack of scoring didn’t provide for the most exciting of affairs. Neither team was able to find the net through the first two periods of play.
The Kings weren’t granted a single power play during the evening, and took a combined three penalties, two of which were puck-over-glass delay of game calls. A very disciplined game it was indeed.
Tyler Johnson, who was a game-time decision to play, opened the scoring in the third, giving the Lightning a 1-0 lead with 14:03 minutes left to play in regulation.
With just over five minutes to play in the third, the line of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic entered Tampa Bay’s zone, initiating and producing the game’s tying goal.
Toffoli dumped the puck low into the corner, where with a speedy forecheck, Carter gained possession. Carter, seeing Lucic positioned atop the left circle, found him with a pass. Lucic wound up for a shot while Toffoli drove to the front of the net. Lucic’s shot found it’s way through traffic and squeaked past Ben Bishop to knot the score 1-1 with 5:23 to play.
The Kings extended to their fourth overtime of the season. Anze Kopitar
nearly ended the game when Jonathan Quick
fired a pass two-thirds of the way down the rink, but couldn’t finish when Ben Bishop’s stick caught a piece of the puck.
With a scoreless OT, the Kings went to their second shootout of the season. The Kings shot first, but Anze Kopitar was only one of three Kings to score. Jonathan Marchessault and Valttery Filppula scored for Tampa Bay in the first and third rounds.
Wednesday night was the Kings’ first loss beyond regulation this season. They are 3-1 when tied after regulation.
Three different players led the Kings’ roster in points scored (1), Trevor Lewis in shots taken (6), Dustin Brown in hits delivered (7), Jamie McBain in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:19). Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in the SO loss.
The Kings will now return to Los Angeles to begin a four-game home stand Saturday, when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at STAPLES Center, the puck scheduled to drop just after 7:30PM PST.