By John Reger
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) — The St. Louis Blues own one of the top
power-play units in the NHL, but it was the Los Angeles Kings
that took advantage of the penalties on Thursday.
Captain Dustin Brown scored twice on the power play en route to
his first career hat trick as the Kings posted a 6-2 victory
over the Blues.
Anze Kopitar netted a pair of tallies and set up another and
Alexander Frolov also scored for Los Angeles, which scored its
first three goals with the man advantage.
“The special teams, power play and penalty-killing, were both
very good, and I liked our play along the boards,” Kings coach
Terry Murray said. “We played heavy, we played strong on our
sticks and we competed, and that was right through the lineup.”
Jarret Stoll collected three assists, defenseman Kyle Quincey
and Patrick O’Sullivan recorded two apiece and Erik Ersberg made
26 saves to earn the victory.
Cam Paddock and blue-liner Carlo Colaiacovo tallied for the
Blues, who entered the game with the third-best power play in
the NHL and immediately had a chance to capitalize on that
success as the Kings committed three penalties in the first
“We were in a little bit of a predicament early on with the
penalties, but our special teams were a huge part of the game,”
Brown said. “Our penalty kills came up huge in the first 10
minutes of the game. The Blues might have scored two or three
goals during those power plays in a different game, but we shut
them down and came back during our power plays.”
St. Louis registered a total of just five shots in the session
and ended the game 0-for-4 with the extra skater.
“We are just out of sync in all areas,” Blues veteran Keith
Tkachuk said. “Not only on the power play, but
penalty-killings, 5-on-5. We just have to find a solution
Los Angeles scored on its first power play with 9:42 left in the
first, when Frolov deflected a slap shot by Quincey past
goaltender Chris Mason.
“Coach was just saying, ‘Get the puck up there towards the
net,'” Quincey said. “We have such great players down low that
if I get the puck there, they can put it in the net.”
Mason started in place of Manny Legace, who was placed on
injured reserve earlier in the day with a concussion suffered
when he was kneed in the head by Anaheim’s Ryan Carter in the
first period of Wednesday’s loss to the Ducks.
The Kings doubled the advantage 7:32 into the second period
after B.J. Crombeen was whistled for interference and Dan Hinote
was sent to the penalty box for tripping. Brown, who was
standing near the left goalpost, deflected a slap shot from the
point by Quincey past Mason during the 5-on-3 for his ninth goal
of the season.
“Brownie scored goals from being around the net,” Murray said.
“On the power play, the shot by Quincey is a redirect. It’s
where he’s supposed to be. He’s in the right place, and good
With Hinote – who returned to the lineup after missing 13 games
with a lower body injury – still serving his penalty, Brown
scored again 72 seconds later, when he wristed a shot between
Mason’s pads from the right faceoff dot.
“I felt like I was in a slump,” Brown said. “I was getting
chances, but the puck wasn’t going in. I just wanted to keep it
simple and put pucks toward the net. We need more of that. We
need to throw more pucks at the net.”
Los Angeles pushed the lead to 4-0 with 9:25 remaining in the
session when Kopitar received a backhand pass from O’Sullivan on
the doorstep and slid the puck into the open net.
The Blues finally got on the scoreboard with 6:37 left in the
middle session, when Paddock tipped a slap shot by defenseman
Roman Polak past Ersberg. The play was reviewed by replay
officials as it was believed Paddock hit the puck with a high
stick, but the goal was upheld.
After making 20 saves, Mason was pulled by coach Andy Murray
after two periods and replaced by Ben Bishop, who was recalled
from the minors to replace Legace on the roster. The 6-7 Bishop
is the tallest goaltender to dress for an NHL game.
“Chris was battling hard and not getting a lot of help,” Andy
Murray said. “He’ll be in net on Saturday, so it gave him a
chance to get a 20-minute rest.”
Colaiacovo halved the deficit 8:19 in the third period, but
Brown increased the Kings’ bulge to 5-2 when he tipped a wrister
by Stoll past Bishop 4:26 later.
Kopitar closed the scoring with 6:38 to play. After firing a
shot from the left circle that was stopped by Bishop, who
finished with six saves, the Slovenian continued to drive to the
net and pushed the rebound past the netminder for his ninth of