The Los Angeles Kings have had a great season. Their goalie Jonathan Quick is the first to record 40 wins in a season, their star forward Anze Kopitar finished the season with 74 points, 25 goals and 49 assists. Their record for the season is 48-28-6, with 102 points. Not the best in the league, but the best in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference — for the moment.
On Thursday they played their arch rivals, the Anaheim Ducks and won in a close game, 2-1. This game put the Kings ahead of the Ducks in the standings, separated by just a point.
Saturday the Kings faced the Winnipeg Jets, a team that is out of the playoff picture. The game started well for Los Angeles. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson both scored goals in the first period, putting the Kings ahead 2-0. It was Toffoli’s 31st goal of the season and the 15th for Pearson. Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown assisted on the first, Milan Lucic and Anze Kopitar assisted on the second goal.
Early in the second period Andy Andreoff scored an unassisted goal putting the Kings ahead 3-0. But then they took their foot off the pedal and began letting the Jets back into the game.
Late in the second period Andrew Copp and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg, bringing the Jets within a point. Nic Petan and Joel Aria assisted on Copp’s goal; Blake Wheeler and Alexander Burmistrov assisted Ehlers.
Then in the third period the Jets tied up the game on a goal by Blake Wheeler, his 26th of the season. The Kings were unable to score a wining goal and the game went into overtime.
Los Angeles has been very good in overtimes, the best in the NHL, but on Saturday they were unable to score in OT, sending the game to a shootout. Unfortunately for the Kings, they haven’t been very good in shootouts, winning just 40 percent of them. They are #24 in the league. The Jets on the other hand have won 50 percent of their shootouts, 16th in the league.
In the end Mark Scheifele scored on Jonathan Quick for the Winnipeg Jets, winning the game. It was a gritty win for them and a tough loss for the Kings.
Today the Anaheim Ducks are in Washington, D.C. playing the Capitals. As of this writing the Ducks are beating the best team in the league in the second period, 2-0. If the Ducks win this game, they win the division and home ice advantage over the Kings, if they meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Below is Claudia Gestro’s video report from the Jets-Kings game on Saturday.
Photo by Claudia Gestro.
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