Hockey
Kings Shoot Down Jets
By Rudy Martinez
Mar 30, 2014 - 10:03:19 AM

LOS ANGELES—The Kings come back onto their home ice continuing to show strength before the close of the season. After finishing a terrific three-game sweep against power teams, the Kings controlled the puck possession against the Winnipeg Jets first appearance at Staples Center with a 4-2 victory Saturday night. Anze Kopitar scored two on the night, to hold the Kings on a six-game winning streak where they look to break their 1992 record before it’s too late.

 

With the Jets out of playoff contention, the Kings could relax in a weekend matchup where points still helped out the Southern California team stave off Wild Card opponents from getting anywhere near them in terms of points with seven games left. The Kings proved that within 2:42 into the game,  with Trevor Lewis scoring his sixth of the season that began as a stretch pass from Jake Muzzin to Kyle Clifford setting up Lewis out front for the 1-0 lead.

2_75.jpg
Trevor Lewis high fives Kings bench during LA's 4-2 win over Winnipeg

 

Los Angeles showed power in the Winnipeg zone firing all around the offensive zone on Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. He gave up his second on a tip in from Kopitar where he had to deal with the flying stick of Marian Gaborik coming towards him, as the Slovak took a shot on goal that helped Kopitar to push the puck in with his leg. The Jets caught one big chance with eight minutes left in the first as they had the Kings scrambling near the net of Jonathan Quick, but recovered to hold off Winnipeg from cutting the LA margin in half. Kopitar would eventually get his own near the end of the period on a backhander rebound to give him two on the night. The Kings outshot the Jets 16-11 while also winning big on the faceoff showing control with the score adding more assurances of a possible win.

 

The second saw a chance in goaltending for the Jets, as Al Montoya took over for Pavelec to help change the tide of the game. It showed a little difference as an even strength situation between both teams as the Kings were allowed seven shots with Winnipeg taking four. It didn’t stop the Kings from taking shots on their opponents as they showed relentlessness while Montoya denied any further growth in the score.

 

That success turned into a morale boost as Matt Halischuk put the Jets on the board in the third period, with the fourth goal of his season on a pass from Kane where Halischuk sent the puck under the legs of Quick. They would pay the price for breaking the Kings shutout as they countered on a takeaway in the neutral zone for Tyler Toffoli to go on a breakaway to score on the stick side notching his 12th. The three goal margin held its own until Winnipeg’s third chance on the power play came to life with Blake Wheeler scoring his team leading 26th goal on a wrister through Quick to make a two goal gap. Wheeler’s moves through the Kings end got him in front of three LA defenders for the game to not get out of hand.

 

Time was the Jets only enemy, as the minutes fell off leaving less chance for an upset. With less than two minutes on the clock, Winnipeg took two shots while their net sat empty, but the Kings held their ground in front to deny a break of another winning streak. The Kings sixth in a row gave Quick his 26th win, making 24 saves on the night with a .923 save percentage. It was the second time this month that Quick had two streaks spanning five games or more with his last going from February 6 to March 9. As he is considered the best goaltender in the Kings history, a chance to help his team win three more could make him the best contribution to shattering a 22-year record just begging to be changed.



© Copyright 2007 by canyon-news.com