The two teams have a little history with one another, after the eighth-seeded Kings swept the Blues out of the playoffs last spring. Los Angeles won the first meeting between the two teams this season, 4-1 in St. Louis back on February 11.
The Kings trailed 4-1 more than halfway through the second period on Tuesday, but were able to rally back and earn the win, improving to 12-7-2 on the season.
The Blues got on the board first, when defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scored his fourth of the season at 15:09 of the opening frame. But Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin answered back just 43 seconds later, tying the game at 1-1 with the first of his two goals on the night.
Blues forwards Vladimir Sobotka, David Perron, and Chris Stewart would then combine for three consecutive goals from the final minutes of the first period to the middle of the second to give St. Louis a 4-1 lead.
Kings defenseman Slava Voynov cut into the Blues’ lead with his fourth goal of the season at 13:38 of the middle period, closing the gap to 4-2 and putting his team on the path toward a comeback heading into the final 20 minutes of play.
Los Angeles went straight to work in the third, tying the game in the opening 2 minutes and 32 seconds of the period with goals from Mike Richards and Jake Muzzin. For Muzzin, it was the first two-goal game of his career, and his fourth goal in 18 games played this year.
Moments after the Kings had tied the game, red-hot Jeff Carter scored the game-winner 6:09 into the final period, rocketing a wrist shot just over the right pad of Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak. The goal was Carter's 15th of the season, and his ninth in the last eight games. Muzzin picked up his third point of the night, earning an assist on a backhand pass that lead to Carter's goal.
The Kings had completed a quick comeback from a 4-1 deficit, with 13:51 still left on the clock, just enough time to add one more for insurance. Anze Kopitar would score on a shot from inside the low slot area with 5:09 remaining to finishing the scoring at 6-4. Kopitar had a goal and an assist on the night, giving him a team-leading 20 points in 20 games played.
Richards (1 goal, 1 assist), and Drew Doughty (2 assists) also had two-point games, while Muzzin (2 goals, 1 assist), and Justin Williams (3 assists) each picked up three points apiece.
Los Angeles scored four third-period goals for the second night in a row, also accomplishing the feat against the Nashville Predators in Monday's 5-1 victory.
Tuesday's game was filled with action from the start, with three separate fights accounting for 30 of the 40 first-period penalty minutes. For the Kings, forwards Colin Fraser, Kyle Clifford (seen below), and Dwight King squared off against Barret Jackman, Roman Polak, and Ryan Reaves respectively. Of the three fights, Clifford landed the cleanest punches, dropping Polak to the ice with one final uppercut to end the fight.
Neither starting goaltender was in net by the end of the game, as both exited the game early after being pulled by their respective coaches. Kings starter Jonathan Bernier was yanked from the game after giving up three goals, and replaced by Jonathan Quick, who allowed just one goal after entering the game near the start of the second period. Halak was pulled from the St. Louis net midway through the third period, after surrendering five goals and allowing the Kings to rally back and take the lead. Brian Elliott replaced Halak and gave up the final goal of the game to Kopitar.
After finishing with the second most points in the NHL last season, the Blues have struggled to take off this season. They have have now lost three out of their last four games, and fall to 11-9-2 following Tuesday's loss to the Kings.
On the other hand, Los Angeles has won nine of their last 11 games, and improve to 7-1-1 at home in 2013.
The Kings will host the Dallas Stars on Thursday at 7 PM PST.Tags: Anze Kopitar, Hockey, Jake Muzzin, Jeff Carter, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, NHL, St. Louis Blues