The Kings recalled forward Tyler Toffoli from Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. Toffoli, a rookie who celebrated his 21st birthday by joining the Kings for their game against the Red Wings in Detroit, recorded five points (two goals and three assists) in eight games earlier this season. The Kings sent him back to Manchester earlier this month. He has 51 points (28 goals, 23 assists) in 58 games with the Monarchs. The Kings made the move in anticipation of a suspension to team captain Dustin Brown for elbowing Jason Pominville of Minnesota in the second period of a 2-1 loss Tuesday to the Wild. Or perhaps it was simply a coincidence.
Anze Kopitar’s streak without a goal reached 13 games after the Kings’ 4-3 overtime victory Sunday over the Dallas Stars. He hasn’t scored since March 25 against the Chicago Blackhawks. It doesn’t mean he’s not productive, however. He had two assists Sunday against the Stars, giving him nine helpers in his last nine games. Overall, he has a team-leading 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 44 games.
Not long after Sunday’s game ended, with reporters clustered around Kopitar and team captain Dustin Brown in the dressing room, a veteran reporter decided to have a little fun with both players. The exchange went a little something like this:
Reporter to Brown: “Now if you just get that Kopitar guy going …”
Kopitar: “I’m sitting right here.”
Reporter: “Why do you think I said it so loudly?”
When the laughter of the players and reporters died down, Kopitar said it was great to see Brown score two goals against Dallas, adding, “We need everybody going. It was nice to see him get a couple. Hopefully, I will get a couple soon, too.”
The Kings faced a 20-year-old rookie goaltender making his NHL debut for a last-place team with nothing to play for except pride Thursday night at Staples Center. Naturally, it ended up as a test of wills that defied pregame expectations.
The Kings didn’t look like a team that played Saturday, when they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1, finding reserves of energy late in Sunday’s game against the Ducks that enabled them to rally from a 3-2 deficit in the closing minutes of regulation.
Dustin Brown swatted home a free puck to tie the score at 3-all, one of 16 shots the Kings fired at goaltender Viktor Fasth in the third period. The Ducks went ahead on Matt Beleskey’s power-play goal early in the third, but had only five shots in the period.
“Played good, came in here and played hard, scored three goals and gave yourself a chance to win,” coach Darryl Sutter said after the Kings (22-13-4, fourth place in the Western Conference) rallied three times to force the game to overtime and a shootout.
The teams traded goals in the early going, with Drew Doughty of the Kings countering Kyle Palmieri’s goal for the Ducks and Jeff Carter answering Corey Perry’s strike for the Ducks, setting up a third Kings rally in the third period.
In the shootout, the Kings got only Carter’s goal against Fasth. Bobby Ryan, Saku Koivu and Perry scored for the Ducks against Jonathan Bernier. The teams play for the fourth and final time of the regular season Saturday at Staples Center.
Perhaps the only sign of uncertainty in the Kings’ 4-1 victory Saturday over the Edmonton Oilers happened when team captain Dustin Brown accidentally high-sticked center Anze Kopitar in the teeth during a scramble near the Edmonton goalmouth. Kopitar lay prone on the ice for a few moments before he was helped to the bench.
Kopitar said immediately after the game that Brown hadn’t yet apologized.
“I’m going to go find him and kick his (rear end),” Kopitar joked.
Brown later apologized via Twitter.
Apparently, the team that tweets together, stays together.
Here’s the recap from The Associated Press:
Mikko Koivu scored in a shootout to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night in St. Paul, Minn. Koivu also had two assists in regulation. Matt Cullen also had a goal, Zach Parise had a goal and an assist and Niklas Backstrom stopped 28 shots for Minnesota, which bounced back after having its seven-game win streak ended a night earlier in Dallas.
Parise and Cullen also scored in the shootout for the Wild, who are in first place in the Northwest Division.
Here’s the recap from The Associated Press:
Mike Ricahrds scored the go-ahead goal with 2:43 to play, Jonathan Quick made 20 saves and the Kings continued their dominance of St. Louis with a 4-2 win over the Blues on Thursday night in St. Louis. Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist and Trevor Lewis and Justin Williams also scored for the Kings.
The Kings’ top line of Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams was on the ice for both of the Dallas Stars’ third-period goals in their 2-0 victory Thursday night at Staples Center. Kings coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t happy about it and said so after the game.
The Kings certainly had their chances Thursday night against the Dallas Stars.
About 40 of them.
Not one of their shots found the back of the net, though, and the resilient Stars used third-period goals from 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, 40, to hand them a frustrating 2-0 defeat and end their five-game winning streak at Staples Center.
Came across this gem of a quote on the audio recorder from Kings captain Dustin Brown, who credited the play of young defensemen, including Slava Voynov, for the team’s recent surge in scoring. They are passing the puck more efficiently to the forwards and also contributing scoring, where everyone was coming up (almost) empty to start the season.