LA Kings vs Blues

The LA Kings grabbed their third consecutive win after topping the St. Louis Blues in a shootout.

It took the LA Kings (4-5-1) two periods to wake up, but they scored two goals in the final period before ultimately prevailing in a shootout.

LA Kings Box Score
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Full box score is here.

1. Jonathan Quick kept the Kings in the game

The Kings were outshot 23-16 through the first two periods, including 10-6 in the opening frame. Jonathan Quick was brilliant in limiting the Blues’ damage to one goal.

St. Louis needed just four seconds into their powerplay before Brayden Schenn buried home a rebound past the Kings’ netminder. Quick would later give up the game-tying goal with 7.1 seconds remaining in regulation, but he gave them a chance to claw their way back in the final period.

“They’re a good team, they’re going to get chances, but Quickie [Jonathan Quick] was standing on his head as usual,” Adrian Kempe said following the game. “We had a good push in the last period, and that got us the two points.”

2. Third-period magic was fun

It took two periods for the Kings to wake up from their sleepy slumber, but Arthur Kaliyev got the home crowd on their feet with his second goal of the season. Defenseman Kale Clague fed the puck up-ice to Kaliyev in transition, and the 20-year-old forward sniped a rocket past Blues’ netminder Jordan Binnington at the 6:16 mark of the period.

“I was trying to get speed, I saw an opening in the middle of the ice,” Kaliyev said. “I saw Claguer [Kale Clague] had the puck and I was trying to get as much speed as possible. I saw an opening, and I had a chance to shoot it. I was lucky enough to have it go in.”

With the game tied at one goal apiece, Iafallo had a great chance in what initially looked like a goal. He followed his shot, carried the puck around the back of the net, and found Adrian Kempe in front to bury it and give the Kings their first lead of the night.

After the first two games against the Blues, in which the Kings were outscored 10-3, watching them take the lead in the final period was exciting. Alex Iafallo is REALLY having a good year thus far, and his $4M AAV contract will look like a bargain should he keep this up.

3. Failure to secure ENG sends game to overtime, shootout

Did anyone else have flashbacks to the first two games against the Minnesota Wild last year? The Kings failed to score an empty-net goal on multiple chances, allowing the Blues to eventually tie the game with 7.1 seconds remaining.

It goes back to Iafallo’s preseason quote of needing to “step on opponents’ throats” in the sense that the Kings need to finish games. This group is still learning how to win games, but you’d ideally like to see them either score the ENG or keep the Blues off the board in regulation.

“The last two [games] we’ve had veteran players that have had the puck on their tape, heading towards an empty net, and it didn’t work for us,” Kings’ head coach Todd McLellan said. “The other night, Brownie [Dustin Brown] threw it into the middle, tonight it didn’t work with Kopi [Anze Kopitar], and it came back and cost us. Even the goal, I don’t know what we would do on it. It hits Quickie, it bounces, it goes over a few people, it goes off Kopi’s foot, and it’s in our net. Where was the mistake made? Probably not hitting the open net.”

At any rate, it set the stage for an exciting overtime and shootout period.

Honorable Mention: Kings win in the shootout

The Kings dominated the overtime period, with Phillip Danault getting perhaps the best look of all chances in the dying seconds.

Blues’ netminder Jordan Binnington made a great save, sending the game to a shootout. Kempe and Perron matched goals in the first round before Kopitar double-doinked it off both posts and missed.

Kyrou did the same thing, but his shot found the back of the net. After Iafallo scored, Quick stopped Tarasenko, with Kaliyev lighting the lamp and Quick stopping Schenn to preserve the win.

The Kings will put their three-game winning streak on the line against the New Jersey Devils (4-3-1) on Friday night, with puck drop set for 7:30 pm PT.

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