LOS ANGELES –
Entering the final period facing a two-goal deficit, the Kings countered and persevered their way to a 3-2 OT win over the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night at STAPLES Center.
The storyline coming into the evening was Patrick Kane’s point-streak, and that narrative was quickly put to rest when the Blackhawks’ star forward scored the opening goal of the night, beating Jonathan Quick up high 11 minutes into the game on a power play.
In the second, Niklas Hjalmarsson gave Chicago a 2-0 lead when he fired a slap shot across his body from the point, going against the grain of Quick’s movement, placing the puck into the top right corner.
Down two goals entering the third, the Kings got to work quickly, Jeff Carter scoring his 10th goal of the season. Carter’s goal was the end result of a magnificent, ferocious shift by his line to start off the period.
After some aggressive cycling deep in Chicago’s zone, Milan Lucic fired a puck on net where Carter corralled the rebound and beat Blackhawks’ goaltender Scott Darling on his second attempt, cutting the Kings’ deficit to one.
With his assist on Carter’s marker, Milan Lucic
now has points in three straight games (1G, 2A).
With just under six minutes to play in regulation, Anze Kopitar hopped on a puck fumbled by Chicago’s Brent Seabrook, then found Marian Gaborik with a behind-the-back pass. Gaborik, upon receiving the pass, made a subtle move to deter Scott Darling’s positioning, then beat the Blackhawks’ goaltender with a shot low through the five-hole, knotting the score 2-2.
The Kings went to their fifth overtime game of the season, and their second in as many contests.
With two minutes gone in the extra frame, Anze Kopitar found Marian Gaborik with a stretch pass as he rocketed through the neutral zone. Gaborik, with all Blackhawks’ defenders beat, walked in on Scott Darling, beating him with a wrist shot to the blocker side.
Gaborik’s winner was his second goal of the night, and he now has three in the last three games.
With the primary assists on each of Gaborik’s goals, Kopitar now has six points (2G, 4A) in the last five games.
With their overtime win, the Kings improve their record in the extra period to 3-0.
Anze Kopitar (2A) and Marian Gaborik (2G) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Jeff Carter in shots taken (7), Milan Lucic in hits delivered (8), Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:43). Jonathan Quick made 20 saves in the win.
The Kings will continue their four-game home stand Tuesday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks at STAPLES Center, with the puck scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.