Los Angeles’ steady pace led to continued success on road ice. In their third game since returning from the Olympic break, the Kings broke a 1-1 tie in the third to score a pair and beat out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 at PNC Arena Saturday night. Mike Richards, Alec Martinez and Justin Williams put the Kings contribute to the Kings four-game winning streak to start off the month of March on the plus.
Calgary on Thursday began the short stretch of facing struggling opponents and
Carolina was no different. The seventh seeded metropolitan Hurricanes have lost the last four straight with no hope for the hot streaked Kings. The opening period saw both teams fighting to gain ground on one another, as the game had no real show of eight gaining control. Instead the Kings and Canes traded penalties eventually coming to a four on four situation that had yet to settle a change to the scoreboard.
The final minute saw action come alive as Richards put his shooting tricks to the test with a switch up on the stick of netminder Anton Khudobin that was stopped. The Kings center took to the glove side on an angled shot to score his eighth of the season. The Hurricanes wouldn’t stay quiet to close out the first as veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera scored 41 seconds later to even the score at one. It was the tenth goal for Sekera this year and
Carolina’s hope to keep up with their adversaries for just one game.
They did well on that note in the second period as the
Carolina defense showed solid strength in front of the net holding the Kings to 11 shots on net while they failed to connect on eight shots and two power plays with Jonathan Quick back in the net for
Los Angeles for the first time in a week. The third period was the game changer that sent one team falling apart and the other on an individual and team success.
The third period saw a late start from both teams fighting for the one chance to take the lead. After six minutes of even strength hockey,
Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty made the mistake of hooking Trevor Lewis to give LA a chance to score on their sixth power play of the game. Just when the Hurricanes though that their PK unit was going to skunk the Kings, Martinez made a huge drive at center with just 10 ticks left on the power play that went over the shoulder of Khudobin for his fifth of the season. The Kings new hold on the lead led to a giveaway, as Kyle Clifford was called for delay of game which gave
Carolina a chance to tie the game.
The LA penalty killing unit maintained a solid defense with four men shutting down the opposition. The return to even strength left the Kings to settle for playing defense till the final horn sounded. The Hurricanes went for a last ditch effort putting their goaltender in the final 30 seconds to force overtime. Their attempt at moving the game into the Kings end went awry as Williams scored his 16th goal on the empty net. This gave the Kings another fine ending to a brief road trip.
Los Angeles would finally celebrate being back home with an opening homestand against the Montreal Canadians who have been tough for them in the past few years.