TORONTO – You can’t have much more emotion in a sport than playing against the team you loved as a child. For seven of the Los Angeles Kings players who were born within 40 miles of the Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs could have been that team. Oddly enough, all Kings players to score were from the Toronto area.
Added emotion to sports is playing against old teammates, and once again, the Kings were in this position as old friend, Jonathan Bernier, was in net for the Maple Leafs.
Jonathan Bernier saved 20 of the 23 shots he faced. Not the stellar performance everyone would have liked to have seen, but very decent to say the least.
Opposite of Bernier was Martin Jones. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you might wanna take a look at this. Tonight was his fourth game, he allowed one goal on 38 shots and now has a .973 save percentage in his NHL career. He has two shutouts and two goals against in four games now, and has won each of those four games. Safe to say, those are pretty good numbers for any rookie… or any goalie in the league.
Drew Doughty had his family in attendance and put them to their feet early. Just over 10 minutes in to the game, Doughty wristed a shot past Bernier on the power play, his sixth goal of the season, and 200th career point.
Doughty would have had a second goal on a two-on-one breakaway, but the ref’s whistle blew just prior to the goal due to a fight that had broken out behind the play.
Cody Franson scored the only goal of the night for the Maple Leafs. A one-timer started by a great pass from the elusive Phil Kessel, who will have nightmares of Martin Jones due to the saves made on Kessel’s shots. The goal ended Jones’ zero goals against streak at 177:12 minutes.
Jeff Carter went five-hole to give the Kings the lead mid way through the third, and Kyle Clifford sealed the game with a goal with just over a minute and a half left in the game.
Clifford’s goal was setup by Tyler Toffoli who quickly faked a shot and fired a pass to the tape of Clifford. Toffoli is really showing that he is an NHL-caliber playmaker in his play of late.
Final from Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
Kings, 3 (21-7-4) Maple Leafs, 1 (16-13-3)
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Martin Jones, LAK (37 saves, 1 GA)
2. Jeff Carter, LAK (Goal)
3. Cody Franson, TOR (Goal)
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