The LA Kings rallied in the third period to elevate themselves over the Penguins in Jeff Carter’s return to SoCal.
The LA Kings finished their seven-game homestand with a win on Thursday against a Pittsburgh Penguins team that has been rolling as of late. The Penguins didn’t look like themselves, as they were just dominated by the Kings, and it showed on the scoreboard.
LAK: Mikey Anderson (1), Assists: Anze Kopitar (22)
LAK: Anze Kopitar (11), Assists: Alex Iafallo (12), Sean Durzi (8)
LAK: Sean Durzi (2), Assists: Rasmus Kupari (5), Dustin Brown (11)
Shots on goal:
Five things that stood out:
1. Dustin Brown records his 700th point
Dustin Brown recorded his 700th (and 701st) point at the NHL level last night. The feat game off of a rebound goal on the power play to put the LA Kings up 2-1 in the second period.
When asked about the achievement during intermission, Brown responded with, “I don’t really look at my stats very often. A couple of games ago, people were congratulating me for something. I don’t even remember what it was.”
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) January 14, 2022
Brown, 37, now sits at 322 goals, 701 points through 1,266 games played throughout his career, seventh in franchise history.
He’s a free agent after this season, and with the youth emerging, it may be the last year that we see Brown in Los Angeles, but he’s done a good job in the bottom-six this season, and I’m happy to see him achieve this one.
2. Kopitar finally explodes
Before the game, I criticized Anze Kopitar a bit, stating that he’s looked out of it as of late and that he hadn’t had a goal in a while. Then, he made me eat my words.
Kopitar came out with two goals and three points on the night and led the team in Game Score as well. He was key to the team’s success in the victory, and it’s huge for his confidence to be able to come out with a win like that.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) January 14, 2022
“It’s just playing hard each and every night. Not giving up too many chances, and our goaltenders have been solid back there. Team effort from top to bottom,” Kopitar said in regards to the team’s success on the homestand.
3. Three goals in 1:23
The Kings dominated the game, really from start to finish, but Tristan Jarry had just been stoning them, and they were up just 2-1 after the second period.
However, after Radim Zohorna scored to tie the game at 2-2, the LA Kings went on to score three goals in 1:23, which ultimately shifted the atmosphere for the team and allowed them to really take control of the game.
Of the three goals, we saw Mikey Anderson with a blast from the point to register his first goal of the season, then Viktor Arvidsson off of a nice feed from Trevor Moore, and finally, Anze Kopitar registering his second goal of the game off of a tape feed from Alex Iafallo.
4. Durzi with a single-game career-high
Sean Durzi recorded one goal and three points, a single-game career-high through 17:17. While he struggled with some defensive inconsistencies, he made up for it with more offensive production.
In the second period, Durzi had an assist on the Dustin Brown goal, firing the puck to the net and causing the rebound, which led to the goal. His other assist came from a secondary assist on the Kopitar goal in the third period.
Durzi’s goal came late in the third period. It didn’t make an impact on the game, but it’s good to give him the confidence going forward as he recorded his second career goal in the NHL. It was a nice shot, too, a blast from the point.
5. Fagemo makes debut in relief for Lemieux
Fagemo was a minus-one with one shot on goal, one hit, and 22.94 expected goals percentage (xG%) through 11:54 time on ice.
Samuel Fagemo will make his NHL debut tonight.#GoKingsGo
— Russell Morgan (@NHLRussell) January 14, 2022
To me, he didn’t look too noticeable, which isn’t always a bad thing for your first career game. He wasn’t bad defensively at all, he just wasn’t as involved in the offense as you would hope. That’ll likely change as he gets more opportunities in the lineup.
The LA Kings’ next game will come on Saturday as they make their way to Seattle to take on the NHL’s newest franchise.