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game recap

Doughty streak ends, Kings give up lead in loss to Lightning

Defenseman out after 460 straight games; Stamkos helps four-goal rally

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Stamkos nets one-timer

TBL@LAK: Stamkos hammers Kucherov pass

Steven Stamkos sets up from the circle, receives a pass from Nikita Kucherov and blasts home a goal to tie the game at 2 in the 2nd

  • 00:49 •

LOS ANGELES -- The Tampa Bay Lightning scored four straight goals in a 4-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings, who played without Drew Doughty at Staples Center on Wednesday.

The Lightning (30-15-5) are 6-0-0 against Pacific Division teams and are 13-2-1 in their past 16 games. Steven Stamkos scored two goals for a second consecutive game, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves.

"We just saw them not too long ago, another tight game," said Stamkos, who also had an assist for his fifth game with at least three points this season. "They came out strong both times, we get down 2-0, so we can't afford to do that. But we stuck with it."

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Kings highlights]

 

The Kings (18-28-5) did not have Doughty because of an undisclosed injury, ending his consecutive games played streak at 460. He had not missed a game since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Jonathan Quick made 20 saves for Los Angeles, which is 0-4-1 in its past five.

Video: TBL@LAK: Johnson nets Palat return feed in transition

"I thought we played pretty solid," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "Obviously we gave up some chances, but Quickie was there standing tall like he always is. We definitely miss a guy like Drew, and hopefully he'll be back soon."

Erik Cernak gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead at 4:13 of the third period with a shot from the right point through a screen.

Stamkos tied it 2-2 with a one-timer from the left circle at 11:58 of the second period after a Tampa Bay power play expired. The Lightning had the puck in the offensive zone for the entire power play and an additional 13 seconds before Stamkos scored, a sequence that he felt turned the game in their favor.

"Oh, it was obviously a great power play for us," Stamkos said. "Did everything but score. I thought that was kind of a momentum shift in the game too. I mean, it goes either way. If they kill it off, they gain some momentum."  

Stamkos, who scored an empty-net goal with one second left in the third period for the 4-2 final, has nine points (five goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak. 

Tyler Johnson got the Lightning within 2-1 at 5:48 of the second period when he put Ondrej Palat's pass into an open net during a 2-on-1. It was Johnson's 151st NHL goal to break a tie with Brad Richards for fifth in Lightning history.

Tyler Toffoli gave the Kings a 1-0 lead at 6:44 of the first period with a power-play goal. Alex Iafallo made it 2-0 1:18 into the second period with a slap shot from the left circle.

"I can't complain a lot about the effort," Kings coach Todd McLellan said. "We're happy with the way we started the game. Coming out of the break, I was concerned about whether we would be able to get our engine going, especially against that team, and we got it going. Didn't get it to 3 when we had some really good chances, and that probably hurt us. Good teams make you pay for mistakes, and we made some tonight, and they made us pay."

The Kings had not played since Jan. 18 because of the League-mandated five-day break and the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

It was also the first sporting event at Staples Center since former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. 

Kings players wore Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 Lakers jerseys as they arrived. Kings and Lightning players also wore shirts honoring Bryant and his daughter Gianna under their equipment, and a moment of silence was held prior to the game.  

Video: TBL@LAK: Cernak sneaks wrist shot through traffic

 

They said it

"I'm from Sweden, obviously, and basketball is maybe not the biggest sport, but Kobe Bryant is still someone that everybody knows. Doesn't matter if you're a hockey player or a soccer player back home. All my friends, family, everyone knows who Kobe is. … Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrible accident, and it was an honor for us as an organization to be a part of that pregame ceremony." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

"I just think my favorite thing about him is he wanted to win no matter what, whether that's playing hard or finesse or everything, but there wasn't many nights where he took the night off. He was probably the ultimate competitor and a closer and a champion, essentially." -- Kings captain Anze Kopitar on Kobe Bryant

 

Need to know

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov had two assists to extend his point streak to five games (five goals, four assists). … Vasilevskiy is 12-0-2 in his past 14 games. … Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli had an assist and has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past five games. … Kings forward Dustin Brown had an assist to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, two assists). … Kings defenseman Joakim Ryan played 23:02 in his return after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. 

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SN, PRIME, SUN, NHL.TV)

Kings: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Video: Stamkos helps Lightning rally past Kings

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