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game recap

Kopitar's goal in third period helps Kings top Jets

Quick makes 26 saves for Los Angeles; Winnipeg has lost four of its past five

by Darrin Bauming / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Kopitar's power-play goal

LAK@WPG: Kopitar nets backhander for PPG

Anze Kopitar streaks toward the net and lifts a backhander off Connor Hellebuyck and into the net on the power play for a 3-2 lead

  • 01:03 •

WINNIPEG -- Anze Kopitar scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period for the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Tuesday.

Kopitar skated the down the right wing on the power play before cutting across the slot and scoring with a backhand that went under the arm of Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck at 5:52.

"It's just going in and seeing where the space is to go to the open ice, and I just figured I'd try the backhand and it worked out," Kopitar said.

 

[WATCH: All Kings vs. Jets highlights]

 

Austin Wagner and Kurtis MacDermid scored, and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for Los Angeles (4-5-0), which has won two in a row.

"The team did a great job of just trying to prevent as much as possible because they've got some guys who can skate and shoot," Quick said. "Hats off to the way we played in the neutral zone and in our own end, keeping them out of our end as much as possible."

Video: LAK@WPG: Wagner pots rebound off big rebound

Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and an assist, and Hellebuyck made 38 saves for Winnipeg (5-6-0), which has lost four of its past five games during a six-game homestand while being outscored 17-7.

"He was the best player out there for sure, head and shoulders," Jets captain Blake Wheeler said of Hellebuyck. "Another great effort from him to give us a chance."

The Kings outshot the Jets 21-5 in the first period.

"We got off to a good start and our forecheck was established real quick," Kings coach Todd McLellan said. "We earned a couple power-play opportunities quite early in the game and we generated a lot of shots. I'm not sure if they were real good chances, but shots off of that and the momentum just started to go our way."

Video: LAK@WPG: Ehlers redirects puck past Quick from slot

Wagner gave the Kings a 1-0 lead at 10:32 of the first period, scoring on a rebound into an open net after Hellebuyck was taken down to the ice by Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov's stick.

Kyle Connor tied it 1-1 at 17:07 from the high slot following a turnover by Wagner.

"We gave one up late in the period where they tied the game and that set us back a little bit," McLellan said. "Then we took some penalties and allowed them to get back in the game."

Video: LAK@WPG: Connor nets Little's feed from the slot

MacDermid scored to make it 2-1 at 4:16 of the second period. Initially ruled a save by Hellebuyck, the play continued until 5:07, when the Situation Room informed the off-ice officials to sound the horn after it was confirmed MacDermid's shot completely crossed the goal line.

"It was just hard to tell," MacDermid said. "There was a lot of commotion in the crease and I wasn't really sure, but luckily it did end up going in."

Ehlers tied it 2-2 at 12:28 of the second on a redirection of Neal Pionk's shot from the right point.

Video: LAK@WPG: MacDermind rips wrister home from slot

 

They said it

"I don't think that line's been productive enough. [Patrik Laine], [Mark Scheifele] and [Blake Wheeler], for the last three or four games, I don't think they really generated what we would normally expect." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice on juggling his forward lines after the first intermission

"The best penalty killer is the goaltender, and I thought [Jonathan Quick] was that tonight." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan said about the penalty kill, which went 5-for-5

 

Need to know

Kopitar has scored in each of the past two games and leads the Kings with 10 points (four goals, six assists). … Wheeler doesn't have a point and is minus-7 in his past five games. … Quick is 2-0-0 with a .942 save percentage (49 saves on 52 shots) in his past two starts after going a 0-3-0 with a .793 save percentage (73 saves on 92 shots) in his first three starts.

 

What's next

Kings: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the Calgary Flames in the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN1, CITY, TVAS2, NHL.TV)

Video: Kopitar's go-ahead goal lifts Kings past Jets, 3-2

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