The St. Louis Blues picked up right where they left off Tuesday night, netting three goals in the first period. It brought their total to eight goals in a span of 44 minutes over three days, two cities and two periods against the Los Angeles Kings.
But the funny thing is, the Kings didn’t collapse this time.
"A comeback is a mild miracle," Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter joked. "A couple of you guys were burying us when we got down one goal."
One of the worst teams when playing from behind, the Kings were eager to avenge a loss in St. Louis Tuesday night. After blowing a lead by giving up three goals in less than three minutes, an exclamation point on the end of a bad road trip, Thursday night at the Staples Center, the Kings again gave up three in the opening minutes.
Oddly enough, it was their performance on the power play that brought them back and kept them in the game.
"We got on the board on the power play, which is huge," said winger Marian Gaborik, who scored twice with the man-advantage. "It was just a 60-minute effort."
Inconsistent at best this season when it comes to special teams, the power play finally served the Kings after failing them so many times before. The Kings scored three times on the power play for only the second time this season. For a team who came into the game ranked only 21st in the league in power play percentage, it’s a step in the right direction as long as they know how to keep moving forward.
"I hope so," said center Anze Kopitar, who’s five points on the night was a new career-high. "Yeah, it was a good game but now we’ve got to go and stick with the same things that make us successful and try and keep it going."
Earlier in the week, Sutter lamented the performances of his top players. Disappointed in the lack of quality chances for guys like Jeff Carter, he moved Carter up to the top line with Kopitar and Gaborik creating a superstar line.
Each of the three scored and the line combined for 11 points. And the Kings needed every single point – they killed off only one of three penalties and gave up four goals on 28 shots.
"It’s not as sour of a taste if we do score like that but sometimes you just need one of these games to go right for you even though you give up a few," Kopitar said. "I am sure Darryl will want us to tighten up in the D-zone and the PK, and go from there."
For the first time all season, the Kings came back from a three-goal deficit to win a game. Suddenly emboldened by a poor road trip, the team that is still 11 points out of first place in the Pacific Division is anxious to right the ship.
"Some other teams would probably pack it in after the 3-0 (deficit)," Kopitar said. "But not this team. We have a lot of character, we have a lot of guys who like each other and like playing for each other, so that’s a big part of how we came back too."