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Kings rally to put end to Blues' five-game win streak

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

LOS ANGELES -- Darryl Sutter seemed to suggest that the demise of his Los Angeles Kings had been greatly exaggerated. He sarcastically chided reporters about it after a 6-4 come-from-behind win Thursday against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center.

But beneath the sarcasm, Sutter had to be pleased after the Kings erased deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to earn a split of their home-and-home with the Blues.

Anze Kopitar set a career-high with five points, and Jake Muzzin scored the game-winning goal for the Kings, who had been 1-4-1 in their previous six games.

St. Louis needed 10 shots to jump out to a 3-0 lead at 16:00 of the first period.

"There's no secret to it," Kopitar said. "We've been struggling lately a little bit. But I think tonight we showed a lot of character. We could have easily packed it in after that first period, but we showed character. I think we all know that it's in here. We definitely are not going to go away quietly. Hopefully that is the turning point and we can get things going."

Marian Gaborik had two goals and an assist. Jeff Carter ended a 13-game goal drought with a third-period goal; he had three assists.

The Kings (16-11-6) scored three unanswered goals in the third period, two nights after a third-period collapse in St. Louis.

Muzzin scored on the power play with a wrist shot at 8:58. He grabbed a rebound at the left circle and moved around sprawled Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before he beat goalie Martin Brodeur blocker side. Ryan Reaves was serving an interference penalty for a hit on Jarret Stoll.

The Blues (21-9-2) had their five-game winning streak snapped. Captain David Backes pointed to the six power plays that St. Louis gave Los Angeles.

"We killed too many penalties today," Backes said. "You get a 3-0 lead, you want to play a clean, hard game and not give them those opportunities. … I take a lot of the blame. I was on the ice for four of their goals, and that's not good enough."

Dwight King made it 6-4 when he scored his fourth goal with a shot from the red line that took a fluky bounce over Brodeur's left shoulder.

"It's one of those bounces that have never happened to me before," Brodeur said.

The six goals allowed by Brodeur, who played in his first game against the Kings since Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final with the New Jersey Devils, were the most in his four games with St. Louis.

"They play similar [as in 2012]," Brodeur said of the Kings. "They're a big team to play against. They use it to their advantage. I think Kopitar is definitely the guy that kind of drives the engine of that team, and Carter is doing well. They have depth. They're a good hockey team, but we played them well in our building, and if we didn't shoot ourselves, we would have had a better result today."

Carter's goal 20 seconds into the third period made it 4-4. He roofed Kopitar's saucer pass to finish a 2-on-1. It was his eighth goal, first since Nov.18.

Jori Lehtera's goal with 3:43 left in the second had given the Blues a 4-3 lead heading into the second intermission.

Kopitar and Gaborik each scored in the second period to make it 3-3. Kopitar's second goal in 15 games finished a rush at 6:14 after a T.J. Oshie turnover. Gaborik converted a loose puck on Drew Doughty's shot on the power play at 15:41. Gaborik has five goals in three games, exceeding his total in his first 17 games.

Sutter moved Gaborik up to a line with Kopitar and Carter in the second period.

"It gives our team, and us, quite a bit of confidence," Gaborik said. "Last game, we blew the third period and we were excited to come back and play these guys again. I'm glad we got these two points. We got on board on the power play, which is huge and it was just a 60-minute effort."

St. Louis' third-ranked power play scored twice to highlight a physical, penalty-filled first period.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored on a one-timer that might have gone off the stick of Kings defenseman Alec Martinez at 16:00 to put the Blues up 3-0. The goal was the eighth straight for St. Louis against Los Angeles; the Blues scored five unanswered in their 5-2 win against the Kings in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Backes tipped Bouwmeester's point shot at 13:12 for the other power-play goal.

Dmitrij Jaskin also scored on a deft redirect of Petteri Lindbohm's shot at 14:23 of the first. Jaskin was recalled after left wing Jaden Schwartz broke his foot Tuesday.

Gaborik scored a power-play goal at 17:45 to salvage the first period for the Kings, who have been outscored 7-1 in the first period over the past seven games. But the goal was significant.

"By the time we're trying to get out of the first period, we're giving them another power-play opportunity that they make good on, and now you give them a little life rather than a 3-0 lead after the first," Backes said.

Los Angeles was 3-for-6 on the power play.

Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Sutter said Regehr sustained the injury blocking a shot.

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