LOS ANGELES – It had been a long road trip for the Los Angeles Kings and a trip home to face the Eastern’s Conference’s best team, Pittsburgh Penguins, just seemed to be the perfect time to turn things around.
However, old friends kept the Kings at bay. Former Kings goaltending prospect, Jeff Zatkoff, who spent time playing the Kings minor league affiliate Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs shut the Kings down from start to finish. Zatkoff made 30 saves on 31 shots earning his ninth win in his past ten games.
Anze Kopitar had the lone goal of the night for the Kings, which has been a re-occurring event for the Kings of late. Kopitar has had the Kings last three goals, all coming over the past five games. Kopitar’s goal (a powerplay goal) came in the first and tied the game at one.
Evgeni Malkin opened up the scoring the Penguins just 53 seconds after the opening faceoff. A blind pass through the crease from Jussi Jokinen left Malkin wide open with an empty net to shoot at.
The Penguins scored three times over the rest of the night, twice on the powerplay, and once at full strength. The full strength goal came from Tanner Glass who fired a perfect backhand over the opposite shoulder of Kings goaltender Martin Jones.
Jones came in to the game at the start of the second period after Jonathan Quick allowed three goals in the first, and coach Darryl Suter had seen enough, and was looking for a change.
Final from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California:
Penguins, 4 Kings, 1
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Jussi Jokinen, PIT
2. Evgeni Malkin, PIT
3. Matt Niskanen, PIT
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