Game 22; 13-8-1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It was a battle between the pipes right from the start. Jonathan Quick and Ben Bishop each stood on their heads for their respective clubs. But in the end, it was the home team who got the last laugh as the Tampa Bay Lightning had to scratch and claw to earn two points, needing a shootout to defeat the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1. The win was the third-straight for the Bolts while the Kings are able to leave the Sunshine State with an extra point.
Through the opening two periods, the Kings outshot the Bolts by a 21-19 margin with neither netminder giving an inch. In fact, aside from three penalties called all night — all against the Kings — there wasn’t much else to speak of on this night outside the two creases.
Speaking of said penalties, though, the Kings continue having difficulty being disciplined on this road trip as two of their three infractions were Delay-of-Game calls for shooting the puck over the glass. Luckily, the silver-and-black were able to kill off all three penalties successfully, snapping their four-game streak of allowing one or more power play goals.
In the third, the Lightning broke through on the scoresheet.
At the 5:57 mark with the Bolts pressing in the offensive zone, Tyler Johnson picked up the puck where he made a nice move in front before sniping his fourth past Quick to open the scoring. Jonathan Marchessault picked up his first assist of the year on the play.
But the Kings were not fazed.
When their road trip started in Philadelphia, the Kings were able to force overtime thanks to a last-minute goal scored by Milan Lucic. While he didn’t need to wait until the final minute this time, Lucic forced overtime again, taking a weak slapper that found its way past a screened Ben Bishop to tie the game.
Quick and Bishop were solid yet again as this game needed overtime, but when nothing was settled in the extra frame, a shootout was needed.
In the shootout, Jonathan Marchessault scored first to put Tampa Bay up. After Anze Kopitar tied it for the Kings, each team exchanged a miss. Then, Valtteri Filppula ended it, beating Jonathan Quick to extend the Lightning’s winning streak to three.
With 29 saves, Jonathan Quick was great, but Ben Bishop was greater as he stopped 37 shots en route his team’s win. For his efforts, Bishop was named the game’s first star while Quick was chosen as the second star.
Defensively, it was this writer’s choice as the Kings’ dark horse thus far who led his club in blocked shots. Jamie McBain finished with four on the evening.
It was a solid defensive effort from the Kings who even chipped in offensively when they needed to most. They may not have gotten the win but they do take the point in their first post-regulation loss of the season, finishing their road trip with a 2-2-1 record.
The Kings now return home for Thanksgiving and then to close out November when, on Saturday, they play host to the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.