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game recap

Kings defeat Maple Leafs in shootout

Jonathan Quick stops all three shots, Jarome Iginla wins debut with Los Angeles

by Forrest Lee / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Anze Kopitar scored in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center on Thursday.

Tanner Pearson also scored for the Kings (31-27-6), who moved a point ahead of the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves and stopped all three shots in the shootout.

 

WATCH: Maple Leafs vs. Kings highlights

 

"If I'm completely honest with you, I missed my shot but it went in," Kopitar said of the shootout goal. "They all count, and I'll take it."

Forward Jarome Iginla made his Kings debut and had three hits in 15:46. Iginla said the game had the intensity of the playoffs.

"You can feel that being in that game," Iginla said. "You can tell that they are battling just like we are, and each point is so important, and the desperation. It's fun to be a part of that. Every shift is so important, and the battles both ways, and the intensity. It's been a while in those type [of games], and it's fun to be a part of them again."

Tyler Bozak and Nikita Zaitsev scored for the Maple Leafs (28-21-14), who have lost four consecutive games. Frederik Andersen made 33 saves.

Toronto is tied with the New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Video: TOR@LAK: Quick shows patience to stop Marner in SO

"Obviously the team played good. Freddy played good," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "It's important. We have to find ways to get points. We only got one. … We've got to keep grinding."

Bozak tipped in an attempt by Mitchell Marner at 2:04 of the first period to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead. It was his 15th goal of the season.

Zaitsev made it 2-0 at 7:20 after Brian Boyle won a faceoff and passed the puck to Zaitsev.

Kopitar scored on the power play 27 seconds into the third period. It was his seventh goal of the season and first since Jan. 31.

"We knew the power play was going to be big, obviously," Kopitar said. "You're coming on well-rested out of the intermission and the ice was good, so at the very least we just wanted to create some momentum. To get the early one like that certainly helps, and I thought we were going pretty good after that."

Pearson scored at 1:57 to tie it at 2-2.

 

Goal of the game

Kopitar skated to his right, cut left and beat Andersen through the five-hole for his 16th NHL game-deciding goal in a shootout.

Video: TOR@LAK: Kopitar goes five-hole for SO advantage

 

Save of the game

Quick slid across from his right to left to stop a shot by Bozak with a minute remaining in the second period. Bozak took a pass from Nazem Kadri and attempted a wrist shot from close range.

Video: TOR@LAK: Quick glides across crease to rob Bozak

 

Unsung performance of the game

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had an assist, five blocked shots and three hits in 21:45.

Video: TOR@LAK: Pearson slides a backhand five-hole

 

Highlight of the game

Kopitar's goal bounced off Zaitsev's helmet and into the net.

Video: TOR@LAK: Kopitar rips one-timer off Zaitsev for PPG

 

They said it

"Personally, I'd like to get better at stuff, but it was a fun game to be a part of. [It was nice] to come back there in the third when down a couple, [get a] big goal by [Anze Kopitar] to start it, and get the energy going." -- Kings forward Jarome Iginla, who made his Kings debut

 

"I thought it was a good road game. We had some lapses, it's going to happen no matter what. You'd like to kill off that penalty to start the third, and obviously a fluky bounce [on Kopitar's goal], it's a rare thing that you don't see a lot of." -- Toronto forward Brian Boyle

 

"I think our team got some composure. It wasn't like we were really behind; we hit two posts in the second [period]. So it was just 'stay with it.' Sometimes you're going to win and sometimes you're not." -- Kings coach Darryl Sutter

 

Need to know

Kings forward Nick Shore left the game before the start of the third period with an upper-body injury and did not return. … Kopitar has four points in his past four games (one goal, three assists). … Bozak scored his 122nd NHL goal as a Maple Leaf, tying Max Bentley for 34th on the Toronto's all-time list. …

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; FS-W, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN, FS-W, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kopitar, Kings rally to top Leafs in shootout, 3-2

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