Jake Muzzin scored the tiebreaking power-play goal with 11:02 to play, Marian Gaborik had two goals and two assists, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied from an early three-goal deficit for a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter each had a goal and three assists as the defending Stanley Cup champions avenged a loss in St. Louis on Tuesday with just their second win in seven games.
Kopitar matched his career high with four points, and Dwight King scored from the red line with 7:54 left on a bizarre bounce over Martin Brodeur to cap a rough night for the NHL’s career victories leader in his third start for St. Louis.
David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin and Kevin Shattenkirk scored in a 2:48 span of the first period for the Blues, whose five-game winning streak ended.
Jori Lehtera also scored for St. Louis, which hadn’t allowed more than four goals in a game this season. The Blues had scored eight consecutive goals over two games against Los Angeles before the Kings’ comeback.
After Carter tied it with his first goal in 14 games, Muzzin put the Kings ahead with a wicked wrist shot just underneath Brodeur’s crossbar. King then padded the lead with a dump-in shot that inexplicably leapt over Brodeur’s shoulder.
Brodeur returned to St. Louis’ net for the first time since Dec. 8, facing Jonathan Quick in a matchup of two goalies with a combined five Stanley Cup championships, six Jennings Trophies, four Vezina Trophies, three Olympic medals, a Conn Smythe Trophy and 158 NHL playoff victories.
Brodeur and Quick both were shredded, yet each also made a handful of highlight-reel saves in the third period of a wide-open game.
Kings overcome early 3-goal deficit in win over Blues
Quick made 24 saves, and Brodeur stopped 31 shots.
St. Louis swiftly seized a 3-0 lead starting with Backes’ adroit deflection on a power play for his eighth goal, but Gaborik kept the Kings alive with a power-play goal.
Kopitar then scored just his second goal in 15 games on a setup from Gaborik, who tied it later in the second period with another power-play rebound goal, his fifth in three games.
St. Louis went back ahead just 36 seconds later when Lehtera flipped a soft backhand past Quick for just his first goal in 15 games since Nov. 15.
Carter evened it on a 2-on-1 rush with Kopitar, whose four points matched his total from the previous 13 games combined for the Slovenian center.
NOTES: Blues F Jaden Schwartz missed his first game of the season. He apparently injured his right foot against the Kings on Tuesday. … Kings D Robyn Regehr left in the second period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return, again leaving the club with five defensemen. … Jaskin’s goal was his second of the season in the Russian’s first game since returning from a 16-game stint in the minors.