LOS ANGELES – It was a record to be celebrated with Martin St. Louis skating in his 1,000th NHL game Tuesday, but there was nothing to be happy about by the night’s end. The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season at Staples Center in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
“This hasn’t happened, back-to-back games at all for us this year,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “This is the first time we’ve been on the wrong end of the score twice. We are coming west and there are some tough teams out here. I’m sure L.A. was licking their chops a little bit after what happened in Tampa Bay.”
Despite netminder Ben Bishop dropping consecutive games for the first time in 2013-14, Victor Hedman tallied his 100th career point, while Valtteri Filppula also matched his goal count (nine) through 41 games last year.
Los Angeles’ leading point getter, Anze Kopitar, opened up scoring for the Kings after 15 minutes had passed in the contest. Drew Doughty dropped the puck back to Kopitar, who sent a wrister by netminder Bishop for a 1-0 lead. That was not all for the Kings though, who doubled their goal total less than two minutes later on the power play. Slava Voynov took the intial shot, which Matt Frattin was able to deflect into the Bolts cage for a two-goal lead.
Four more goals were exchanged in the middle frame, but it ended with the Kings on top 5-1. L.A. increased their lead to 4-0 with goals from Justin Williams and Dwight King. Williams’ marker came on unfortunate bounces off of Matt Carle’s skate and Alex Killorn’s leg, which Williams backhanded into the net. Then King went five-hole on Bishop off of Linden Vey’s shot.
Filppula then made it a more manageable three-goal game when he scored on a wrist shot from a Hedman pass for a 4-1 score on the man-advantage. The tally ended Scrivens shutout streak at just less than 200 straight minutes.
Yet, the Kings did not let the three-goal difference stand long, as a bad turnover by Brett Connolly in the defensive zone led to the Kings’ captain Dustin Brown scoring the fifth goal of the game and his season.
Hedman then made it 5-2 1:22 into the final period when Hedman lasered a wrist shot that Scrivens did not seem to see.
UP NEXT – Tampa Bay plays the second half of their four-game West Coast road trip when they visit San Jose to play the Sharks Thursday. The Lightning then head south again to meet the Anaheim Ducks for their second and final meeting this season, before returning to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for three games during Thanksgiving week.