The LA Kings concluded their roadtrip with a record of 3-2-1, following a 5-4 overtime loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday evening at PNC Arena.
Forward Adrian Kempe scored twice in the defeat, while forward Anze Kopitar had a three-point night (1-2-3) and defenseman Drew Doughty reached 600 points for his NHL career 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 the pipes.
Carolina scored the lone goal from the first period, to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. After a relatively evenly played start, the Hurricanes opened the scoring through defenseman Brent Burns 13:27 into the game. Crashing in from the right point, Burns took a pass and drove into the right-hand circle, where he fired through a screen and in for his ninth goal of the season.
The Kings bounced back, however, with four goals in the middle stanza, opening up a 4-1 lead through 20 minutes.
First, Kempe tied the game at one off a turnover forced in the offensive zone. Kempe crashed in down the right wall to jar the puck loose to Kopitar, who couldn’t bury a breakaway in tight, but he collected the rebound and fed Kempe in front for the goal, his 21st of the season. Fiala made it 2-1 for the visitors just past the game’s halfway point, as he led a 2-on-1 rush, toe-dragged into the slot and snapped a shot past Carolina netminder Frederik Andersen for the go-ahead goal.
Kempe made it 3-1 less than three minutes later with his second goal of the evening. Doughty sent a stretch pass up the ice that missed everyone, but bounced heavily off the endboards directly to Kempe, who fired home to extend his team lead in goals on the season. Finally, Kopitar made it 4-1 with a power-play goal, his fourth of the roadtrip, to put the Kings ahead by three at the second intermission.
Carolina surged back in the third period to tie the game at four with a trio of goals.
First, forward Paul Stastny made it 4-2 as he drove the net and buried a rebound off a Derek Stepan shot, his fifth goal of the season. Carolina captain Jordan Staal brought the hosts within a goal just shy of the halfway mark of the third, as he redirected a shot from the right point, inside the post and in, to make it 4-3. The Hurricanes completed the comeback with a power-play goal from forward Teuvo Teravainen, pushing the game to overtime tied at four goals apiece.
After a penalty in overtime put the Kings shorthanded, Carolina clinched the extra point with a power-play goal. Forward Sebastian Aho buried a one timer, off a pass from defenseman Brent Burns, for the 5-4 victory.
Hear from defenseman Drew Doughty and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s game.
Doughty shares his thoughts on the OT loss to Carolina💭@LAKings | #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/jeBPqQSjUq
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) February 1, 2023
On the difficulty of the third period and where things changed for the Kings
We knew they were going to have a push, we thought we could handle it. I actually didn’t think we played a terrible period. Fortunate on the rebound goal right off the bat, that gave them a lot of momentum and then the third goal, the deflection, puck is going wide, we’ve got to do better job of that. Unfortunately, we dumped one over the glass and they went on the power play twice to win the game. Not exactly the recipe you need, but from the first two periods, I thought we played an outstanding game. Third, a little back on our heels, good teams do that to teams, but yet we weren’t under siege. Looking back to the Florida game in the third, they had almost 20 shots. Here, they were they were held to 10, they took advantage of it.
On what he felt the group did to settle 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 a lot, we were still trying to do the right things and then when it gets to overtime, unfortunately we take the penalty. Again, a good power play with that much ice, they’re going to find somebody to shoot it.
On the opportunistic nature of the group in the second period to take the lead
Again, you’re not going to get 40 shots against this team and when you get opportunities, you’ve got to take advantage of them. We got a few of them, we had a few in the first period that we didn’t take advantage of, but in the second we did.
On how he can evaluate a 3-2-1 roadtrip after things mellow
Yeah, we will. This trip is about as hard as you can find in the National Hockey League, when you’ve got to come through Florida, Tampa and Carolina down here, and the teams we started with weren’t an easy one either. It’s been a long 12 days, it dragged out here to the bitter end and the fact that we could come out above .500 was a good thing for us. There’s not a lot of teams from out West that are doing that, so we think we put ourselves in a better position. The taste of tonight’s game, we think we left a point behind, but when it’s all said and done, we’ll take the points we got.
On seeing that the group can matchup up with 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 top teams. I think that we can put ourselves up in 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 somebody, in fact it’s disappointing we didn’t finish it out.
– Adrian Kempe (2-0-2) scored his team-leading 21st and 22nd goals of the season. His two-goal effort marked the 16th multi-goal performance of his career, the most among all Kings skaters since his NHL season debut in 2016-17 and one more than the next closest (Anze Kopitar, 15 GP).
– Anze Kopitar (1-2-3) recorded his 123rd career road multi-point game, tying Dave Taylor for the fourth-most 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, sitting 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 the 600-point mark for his career (135-465-600) with his two assists. He becomes the first defenseman in franchise history, ninth Kings skater overall, seventh active defenseman and fifth skater from the 2008 NHL Draft class to reach 600 career NHL points.
– Doughty’s two-assist game marked his 112th career multi-point game, surpassing Rob Blake (111) for the most by a defenseman in franchise history.
– Kevin Fiala extended his team-leading point total to 53 points (18-35-53) with his 18th goal of the season, moving into sole possesssion of second on the team in goals scored.
The Kings will be off until February 9, when they will resume practice at Toyota Sports Performance Center at 2:00 PM.
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