If one point didn’t seem like enough Thursday night, Kings fans are officially spoiled.
Brandon Dubinsky’s wraparound goal with 3:08 left in the third period left the Kings trailing 3-2 at Madison Square Garden — a tall task to overcome for any team, especially one that wasn’t built to score in droves.
But Dustin Brown answered less than a minute later by coralling a Rob Scuderi shot off the end boards, then yanking the puck up and in past Henrik Lundqvist from behind the net.
When overtime began, a double-minor for high-sticking to forward Alexei Ponikarovsky gave the Rangers a 4-on-3 power play for the first four minutes. The Kings weathered that storm, too, and forced a shootout in a 3-3 game for the second straight night.
In the end, they were denied the extra point because starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier is not Jonathan Quick in the skills competition — at least not this season.
Jordan Staal’s forehand wrister with 18.4 seconds left in overtime sent the Kings to a 2-1 loss against a depleted Penguins squad.
After Los Angeles native Brett Sterling got the Pens on the board early, Jarret Stoll capitalized on a Penguins turnover to tie the game at 1 at 17:17 of the first period. Nobody scored again in a tight defensive battle until Staal’s game-winner. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves, and counterpart Marc-Andre Fleury had 32 for the Penguins.
When Quick and Fleury weren’t trading saves – mostly of the routine variety – they got help from their defense. The Kings (18) and Penguins (21) combined for 39 blocked shots, including seven alone by Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek. It was the type of game Pittsburgh needed without injured forwards Sidney Crosby (concussion), Evgeni Malkin (knee) and Chris Kunitz (lower body).
It was the type of game the Kings needed, too, given the depth of their recent offensive struggles. In the end, it could have gone either way. This time it went the Penguins’ way.
Optimistically, the Kings added to their point total for the seventh straight game. Pessimistically, even the latest forward permutations couldn’t find the second goal it needed to beat a weakened offensive team.
A few more notes: