Jets fall to Kings
WINNIPEG—Marian Gaborik didn’t get on the scoresheet in his debut with the L.A. Kings last night but he felt comfortable in a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Gaborik was acquired in a trade with Columbus on Wednesday and skated on the top line with centre Anze Kopitar and right-winger Justin Williams.
“We had some good time on the power play, as well.
“We got some great help by our [defence] offensively, as well, so I think it’s going to get better and better,” he added.
Mike Richards scored the game-winner on a Winnipeg giveaway that helped run the Kings’ (36-22-6) winning streak to six games.
“I was just as excited as a lot of the people that were here that came in from [my hometown] of Kenora [Ont.],” Richards said of the 20-plus game tickets he had to find.
Captain Dustin Brown had L.A.’s first goal while Alec Martinez added a third-period power-play goal.
Goalie Jonathan Quick only needed to make 17 saves for his 20th win of the season.
Olli Jokinen notched his 15th goal of the season for Winnipeg (30-27-7) while a busy Ondrej Pavelec stopped 38 shots.
“They move the puck well, they can spend a lot of time in your zone,” Pavelec said of the Kings.
“We have to forget about this one and focus on the next one,” he stressed.
Winnipeg and Phoenix were tied at 67 points heading into the game—one point behind Dallas for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Vancouver was one back of the Jets and Coyotes.
But Vancouver later fell 6-1 to visiting Dallas last night while Phoenix beat Montreal 5-2.
“I liked the speed of the game that we started the game with,” said Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice.
“I thought we moved the puck sharp and we moved our feet. And then I thought we ran into the L.A. Kings.
“When they’re at their best, they will take your game and frustrate you to the point that you start to change what you’re trying to do because there’s nothing given easily,” he remarked.
The biggest cheer in the scoreless first period was for Jets’ forward Dustin Byfuglien after he sent Kings’ defenceman Jake Muzzin over the boards into the bottom of Winnipeg’s bench.
Winnipeg next hosts Ottawa tomorrow afternoon while the Kings play in Edmonton on Sunday.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Edmonton edged the N.Y. Islanders 3-2, Boston blanked Washington 3-0, Buffalo beat Tampa Bay 3-1, Colorado edged Detroit 3-2 (OT), Chicago dumped Columbus 6-1, St. Louis nipped Nashville 2-1, and San Jose downed Pittsburgh 5-3.