Quick, Kopitar lift Kings to shootout victory over Leafs
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[March 03, 2017]
LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Quick
continues to inch his way back from a 60-game absence caused by a
The Los Angeles Kings goaltender made his first appearance in 4 1/2
months last weekend, experienced an overtime game earlier this week
and Thursday night took part in his first shootout of the season.
The experience went well for the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, as
Quick stopped all three attempts in the shootout to lift the Kings
to a 3-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center.
Anze Kopitar scored the only goal of the shootout in the third round
after the Kings erased a 2-0 deficit with two goals in the first two
minutes of the third period. The loss was the fourth in a row for
Toronto, dropping the Leafs' record to 21-1-9 this season when
leading after two periods.
The Kings, who took over the second Western Conference wild-card
position, scored a power-play goal 27 seconds into third period.
Kopitar took a shot from the right point that was off target, but
the puck hit Toronto defenseman Nikita Zaitsev in the visor and
ricocheted into the net, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
"You'd like to kill off that penalty to start the third," said
Toronto center Brian Boyle, who produced his first point with the
Maple Leafs since coming over in a trade with the Tampa Bay
Lightning on Monday. "Kind of a fluky bounce."
Los Angeles tied the score at 1:57 of the third period after Tyler
Toffoli recovered a puck that Toronto had sent around the back of
its net. Toffoli passed into the middle to defenseman Alec Martinez,
and he slid it over to Tanner Pearson, who was all alone in front of
Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen.
Pearson beat Andersen with a quick stick move for his 22nd goal of
"Our team had some good composure," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
"It wasn't like we were really behind the 8-ball."
Tyler Bozak and Zaitsev scored for Toronto, who fell into a tie with
the New York Islanders for the second Eastern Conference wild card.
In the second period, Boyle won a faceoff against Jeff Carter in the
Los Angeles zone and passed the puck back to Zaitsev, who was just
inside the blue line. Zaitsev flicked a shot toward the net, and
Quick appeared to be screened by Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin,
who skipped out of the way just before the puck sailed past Quick
and into the net for a 2-0 lead at 7:20.
[to top of second column]
Leafs goalie Frederik
Andersen (31) blocks a shot against the Los Angeles Kings during the
second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A.
Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto took a 1-0 lead at 2:04 of the first period
after the Kings failed to clear the puck from their zone and James
van Riemsdyk took possession. He drove toward the back of the Los
Angeles net with Muzzin on his hip. Van Riemsdyk sent a no-look pass
behind him to Mitchell Marner, who sent the puck through the crease.
Bozak was stationed near the opposite post, and the puck banked off
his skate and into the net for his 15th goal of the season.
Jarome Iginla, acquired by the Kings from the Colorado Avalanche on
Wednesday, made his debut on a line centered by Kopitar. The
39-year-old right winger did not have a shot in 15:46 of ice time,
but he contributed three hits.
"I thought he was fine," Sutter said. "It's not easy the last few
days for him. ... He's going to fit in and play a role for us."
NOTES: Kings C Nick Shore sustained an upper-body injury in the
second period and did not return. ... Maple Leafs C Eric Fehr,
acquired Wednesday in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins,
participated in the morning skate but was a healthy scratch along
with RW Ben Smith, LW Josh Leivo and D Martin Marincin. ... Bob
Miller, a Kings broadcaster the past 44 years, announced his
retirement during a news conference earlier in the day. Miller
suffered a stroke while at Staples Center during the All-Star
weekend in late January. .... The Kings handed the Maple Leafs their
worst loss of the season, 7-0 on Nov. 8 in Toronto.
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