But it was good enough to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 to
extend their winning streak to five games.
"We didn't play too well at all," said Kings defenseman Drew
Doughty, who scored in the first period. "We played one of our worst
games in a while. We got the two points that's the bottom line."
On the other hand, the Maple Leafs felt they played one of their
better games despite the result.
"The effort we had on the back check and on the defensive side was
the best we've had in months," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said.
The game was tied at 1 when Kings center Jeff Carter scored his
eighth goal of the season against the flow of play at 9:40 of the
third period. Center Kyle Clifford put the game away with his third
goal of the season at 18:01.
Center Mike Richards had two assists for the Kings (21-7-4), and
Carter added an assist.
Defenseman Cody Franson scored his first goal of the season when the
Maple Leafs (16-13-3) had a two-man advantage in the second period
to tie the game.
The goal snapped a stretch of 177:16 in which Kings rookie goalie
Martin Jones had not been scored upon. Jones, who was coming off
consecutive shutouts, stopped 38 shots.
"I thought the guys did a good job in front of our net tonight,"
Jones said. "I've said that the last few games. I don't think it was
the most solid game that I've had, some rebounds here and there. I
know there's a lot of work to do and not every game is going to go
as well as these last few. "
Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger pinched when he should not have
and that allowed the Kings to break out of their own end to give
Carter the chance to score what turned out to be the winning goal.
"We had three guys at the net, a 1-1 hockey game with 10 minutes to
play, an ill-advised pinch," Carlyle said. "It's mistakes like that
that end up costing you but the effort was there and we'll correct
The Kings took a 1-0 lead out of the first period, the 17th game in
a row in which they did not allow a first-period goal.
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Jones made a big stop early in the second period on right
winger Phil Kessel, who worked free for a shot from close range.
Kings center Colin Fraser was assisted from the ice at 7:18 of
the second period after taking a hit from left winger Frazer
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said that Fraser "got his bell rung"
and will be monitored. Not long after, at 10:48, McLaren and
Kings center Jordan Nolan picked up fighting majors.
The Maple Leafs took advantage of a two-man advantage at 14:30
of the second to tie the game. Franson scored on a snap shot
from a sharp angle at the left of the goal after taking a pass
from Kessel. Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell (interference) and
Doughty (slashing) were in the penalty box.
"It is probably the best game we've played so far," Franson
said. "There's games where you lose where you don't play the way
that's necessary to win and those are tough losses. This is too
but we did a lot of things that we can build on."
Doughty scored his sixth goal of the season at 10:30 of the
first period on the first power play of the game. He skated in
from the right point and beat Bernier from the edge of the
face-off circle with a wrist shot. Toronto center Peter Holland
was off for holding.
NOTES: Maple Leafs D Dion Phaneuf served the first half of his
two-game suspension Wednesday. The ban resulted from his hit
from behind on D Kevan Miller in Sunday's loss to the Boston
Bruins. ... D Mark Fraser took Phaneuf's spot in the lineup, and
D Morgan Rielly was back in the lineup after being a healthy
scratch for the previous three games. ... LW Joffrey Lupul
(groin) returned to the Maple Leafs lineup against the Kings
after missing seven games. ... Kings D Matt Greene (upper-body
injury) was activated from injured reserve Tuesday after missing
15 games but has yet to play. ... Kings G Ben Scrivens, who was
traded in the offseason by the Maple Leafs for G Jonathan
Bernier, did not play as the Kings went with the hot hand,
rookie G Martin Jones.
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