Maple Leafs beat Kings 3-2, snap LA's 8-game roll
- Article by: GREG BEACHAM
- Associated Press
- March 14, 2014 - 12:35 AM
LOS ANGELES — Mason Raymond broke a tie with a short-handed goal early in the third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped the Los Angeles Kings' eight-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Thursday night.
James Reimer made 31 saves in the final two periods after replacing the injured Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs, who have won four of five. Captain Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson also scored as Toronto beat both Southern California NHL clubs in a four-day span.
Marian Gaborik had an early goal and an assist in his home debut with the Kings, who fell just short of matching the longest winning streak in franchise history.
Anze Kopitar had a power-play goal and Jonathan Quick stopped 26 shots in his first loss since Feb. 3.
Bernier gave up two goals in the first period of his first game back in Los Angeles against the team that traded him last summer, but then sat out the final two periods with a lower-body injury.
Reimer filled in admirably, making a number of stunning saves — many of them against Kopitar, who narrowly missed on numerous chances.
After the Leafs erased an early 2-0 deficit, Raymond put them ahead with 14:54 to play. Kopitar was stopped by Reimer on a golden scoring chance, and he stood around in disbelief with three Los Angeles teammates while Raymond alertly made a 2-on-1 rush with James van Riemsdyk for Raymond's 19th goal.
After losing nine of 10 in a skid stretching into early February, the Kings won their final game before the Olympic break and hadn't lost since. This loss prevented the Kings from equaling their record nine-game streak in 2010.
Toronto's rally also prevented Quick from tying Rogie Vachon for the franchise's career wins record and kept Darryl Sutter from securing his 500th career coaching victory.
Gaborik came through in the Slovak goal-scorer's fourth game with the club, providing exactly the boost they sought for their sagging offense.
Wearing their Forum-blue-and-gold throwback jerseys, the Kings went ahead just 1:57 in when the rebound of Drew Doughty's low shot went straight to Gaborik, who scored his seventh goal of the season.
Kopitar then scored a power-play goal on a beautiful cross-ice pass from Doughty, the gold medal-winning Canadian defenseman.
Phaneuf scored his seventh goal of the season late in the first period, and Gunnarsson tied it up early in the third with a long, soft shot that somehow eluded Quick's glove for just his second goal in 67 games this season.
Reimer got up slowly in the second period after getting an accidental skate in the face from Jarret Stoll, but eventually shook it off.
Bernier was the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft by Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. He played 62 games for Los Angeles over five NHL seasons, but never managed to beat out Quick, a lower-round pick by a previous regime who eventually became the Kings' Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Lombardi traded Bernier to Toronto in a deal for Ben Scrivens — since traded to Edmonton — and Matt Frattin, who was sent to Columbus in the deal for Gaborik. Bernier lost 3-1 to the Kings in Toronto in December.
NOTES: Mike Richards accidentally shot the puck into teammate Justin Williams' face with 3 minutes to play. Williams stayed in the game. ... Toronto scratched C Peter Holland, who has the flu. ... The Kings announced their 100th consecutive sellout at Staples Center since December 2011.
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