The LA Kings concluded their road trip with a 3-2-1 record, following a 5-4 overtime loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at PNC Arena.
Forward Adrian Kempe scored twice in the loss, while forward Anze Kopitar had a three-point night (1-2-3) and defenseman Drew Doughty reached 600 career NHL points with a pair of assists. . Forward Kevin Fiala also scored for the Kings in the final game before the All-Star break, while goaltender Pheonix Copley took the loss with 25 saves between two tubes.
Carolina scored the only goal of the first period, to take a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. After a relatively even start, the Hurricanes opened the scoring through defenseman Brent Burns 13:27 into the game. Crashing from the right spot, Burns took a pass and headed into the circle on the right, where he fired through a screen and scored his ninth goal of the season.
The Kings rallied, however, with four goals in the middle of the stanza, opening up a 4-1 lead over 20 minutes.
First, Kempe tied the game at 1 after a forced turnover in the offensive zone. Kempe slammed into the right wall to loosen the puck to Kopitar, who couldn’t bury a breakaway hard, but picked up the rebound and fed Kempe up front for the goal, his 21st of the season. Fiala made it 2-1 for the visitors just after halfway through the game, when he led a 2-on-1 run, dragged his toe into the slot and fired a shot past Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen for the go-ahead goal
Kempe made it 3-1 less than three minutes later with his second goal of the night. Doughty sent a long pass down the ice that missed everyone, but bounced heavily off the sides straight to Kempe, who fired home to extend his team’s goal lead on the season. Finally, Kopitar made it 4-1 with a power-play goal, his fourth of the tour, to put the Kings ahead by three at the second intermission.
Carolina came from behind in the third period to tie the game at four with a trio of goals.
First, forward Paul Stastny made it 4-2 when he drove the net and rebounded a shot from Derek Stepan, his fifth goal of the season. Carolina captain Jordan Staal brought the hosts within one goal just before the halfway point of the third when he redirected a shot from the right side, inside the post and inside, to make it 4-3. The Hurricanes completed the comeback with a power-play goal from forward Teuvo Teravainen, pushing the game into overtime tied at four goals apiece.
After an overtime penalty shot left the Kings behind, Carolina clinched the extra point with a power-play goal. Forward Sebastian Aho buried a timer, with a pass from defenseman Brent Burns, for the 5-4 win.
Hear from defenseman Drew Doughty and head coach Todd McLellan after tonight’s game.
– Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) February 1, 2023
On the difficulty of the third half and where things changed for the Kings
We knew they were going to get a push, we thought we could handle it. In fact, I don’t think we’ve played a terrible period. Fortunately on the rebound goal early on, that gave them a lot of momentum and then the third goal, the deflection, the puck goes wide, we have to do a better job of that. Unfortunately, we tossed one on the glass and they powerplayed twice to win the game. It’s not exactly the recipe you need, but from the first two periods, I think we played an outstanding game. Third, a little further back, good teams do that to teams, but we still weren’t under siege. Looking back at the Florida game in the third, they had almost 20 shots. Here, 10 were held, they took advantage of it.
On what he felt the group did to calm things down once it got to 4-4
Well, after that, I thought we were good. We used the timeout, the guys were saying the right things on the bench. We didn’t have to change the game much, we were still trying to do the right things and then when extra time comes we unfortunately took the penalty. Again, a good power play with that much ice, they’re going to find someone to shoot it.
On the opportunistic nature of the group in the second half to take the lead
Again, you’re not going to get 40 shots against this team and when you have opportunities, you have to take them. We got a few, we had some in the first half that we didn’t take advantage of, but in the second we did.
On how you can evaluate a 3-2-1 roadtrip after things calm down
Yes, we will do it. This journey is the hardest thing you can find in the National Hockey League, when you have to go through Florida, Tampa and Carolina here, and the teams we started with weren’t easy either. It’s been a long 12 days, it went all the way, and the fact that we were able to get out above .500 was a good thing for us. There aren’t many teams in the West doing that, so we think we put ourselves in a better position. The flavor of tonight’s game, we think we left a point behind, but when all is said and done, we’ll take the points we got.
Seeing that the group can face any team in the league
I think we can go toe to toe with any team in the league. You know, when we’re playing our best, and we have to do that to beat the best teams. I think we can get to that upper echelon if we continue to grow and play well and execute. So it’s not a surprise that our group was able to compete against someone, in fact it’s disappointing that we didn’t finish it.
– Adrian Kempe (2-0-2) scored the 21st and 22nd goals of the season as team leader. His two-goal effort marked his 16th career multi-goal performance, the most among any Kings skater since his NHL season debut in 2016-17 and one more than the next closest (Anze Kopitar , 15GP).
– Anze Kopitar (1-2-3) recorded the 123rd multipoint game of his career, tying Dave Taylor for fourth in franchise history. Only Marcel Dionne (175), Luc Robitaille (134) and Wayne Gretzky have more such instances on the road than Kopitar.
– Kopitar’s three-point game is the 69th of his career, one shy of becoming the sixth player in Kings history with 70 such instances, behind Marcel Dionne (153 GP), Wayne Gretzky (129 GP ), Luc Robitaille (108 GP), Dave Taylor (83 GP) and Bernie Nicholls (75 GP).
– Drew Doughty (0-2-2) eclipsed his career 600-point mark (135-465-600) with his two assists. He becomes the first defenseman in franchise history, the Kings’ ninth skater overall, the seventh active defenseman, and the fifth skater from the 2008 NHL Draft class to reach 600 career NHL points. .
– Doughty’s two-assist game marked the 112th multi-point game of his career, passing Rob Blake (111) for the most by a defenseman in franchise history.
– Kevin Fiala expanded his point total as team leader to 53 points (18-35-53) with his 18th goal of the season, becoming second on the team in goals scored.
The Kings will be off until February 9, when they will resume practice at the Toyota Sports Performance Center at 2:00 p.m.
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