NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Los Angeles
(Wednesday, October 20th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 4, Carolina 3
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Andrei Loktionov's first career goal came from an odd angle early in the third period, lifting the Kings to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Anze Kopitar, Michal Handzus and Ryan Smyth also scored for Los Angeles, which won its third in a row since its lone loss, at Calgary October 10. Jonathan Bernier turned aside 27 shots, including all 15 he faced in the final period.
Jeff Skinner, Chad LaRose and Eric Staal were the scorers for the Hurricanes, who lost for the third time in four contests. Justin Peters made 23 saves in defeat.
Loktionov, a fifth-round draft pick of Los Angeles in 2008, moved the Kings to a 4-3 edge 3:19 into the third. He held the puck behind the net on the right side and sent it into the crease. The puck deflected off the stick of Peters and between the goaltender's pads and into the net.
Bernier made a stick save on Erik Cole's breakaway try with 13 1/2 minutes remaining. A puck went off the skate of LA's Willie Mitchell and nearly into the net with 5 1/2 minutes left, but Bernier covered up the disc.
Kings forward Dustin Brown was sent off the ice for interference, for the second time in the period, this time with four minutes left. The Hurricanes put a lot of pressure on Bernier, who came up with a glove save on Joe Corvo's shot from the left circle with 2:25 remaining.
"Penalty killing was seen at its best at the end of the game with two big penalty kills," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "It's been good from the very start and that's what you have to have when you want to win games in this league you have to have your penalty killing going at the right time, and your goaltender has to make the timely saves. Bernier was good here at the end."
Peters was pulled from the net for an extra attacker with about a minute left. Handzus poke-checked the puck away near the net moments later. Staal went off the ice for tripping Kopitar in Carolina's zone with 14.5 seconds to go. Carolina put Peters back in net, and the Kings ran out the remaining time.
"Our power play is a little slow moving," Carolina coach Paul Maurice admitted. "I liked a lot of what we tried to do. I thought we had pretty good bite in our game, we had some good jump, had some great scrums around their net toward the end, and we couldn't put it in."
Smyth scored 5:43 into the game on a rebound at the right side of the net, but the Hurricanes tied it less than two minutes later on LaRose's goal. The puck hit the back bar of the net after a blast from the left circle. Officials had to use replay to confirm the score.
Staal gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead with 2:14 left in the first when his shot from the right circle beat Bernier blocker side, but the Kings evened the contest with 8.5 seconds remaining off a Handzus deflection.
Coming off a 34-goal, 81-point season -- both career highs -- Kopitar had managed just three assists over the Kings' first four games, but he finally lit the lamp 6:58 into the second with a left circle blast.
Skinner, the seventh overall selection in this year's draft, squared the game nearly eight minutes later with his first career goal on a rebound at the right side of the net.
Staal matched Geoff Sanderson (196) for fifth in franchise history in goals...The Kings will start a five-game road trip in Phoenix on Thursday...The Hurricanes, who have yet to play a true home game, finish their road trip against the Coyotes Saturday...Carolina has lost five of its last six at Los Angeles...The Kings have killed 21 of 23 penalties in the first five games (91.3 percent). They have killed 13 straight penalties...Kings defenseman Drew Doughty sat out the last two periods due to an upper-body injury.
10/21 02:25:31 ET