The hockey players of the Los Angeles Kings broke a streak of three consecutive defeats on home ice in the North American NHL. They beat last year’s finalists Florida Panthers 2-1. Slovenian ace Anže Kopitar scored the second and thus decisive goal of the match.
After the win, Los Angeles moved up to fourth place in the Western Conference, collecting 21 points so far. In front of him are the Vegas Golden Knights with 27, the Vancouver Canucks with 25 and the Dallas Stars with 23 points.
Kopitar’s kings broke the streak of three consecutive defeats in their hall, and in the course of the season so far, including the second victory, they collected only seven points in eight home matches. They are doing better abroad, where they have won all seven matches so far.
Kevin Fiala gave the home team the lead after only 80 seconds of the match, and Kopitar doubled the lead in the 34th minute. While playing with a hockey player, Hrušičan shook off rivals on the ice and beat Sergej Bobrovski with a powerful shot.
For the 36-year-old Kopitar, it was the eighth goal of the season, and the 15th point in total after 15 games. Only Kevin Fiala and Adrian Kempe have collected more points in the Kings jersey this season with 16 each.
Sam Reinhart made it 1:2 with last year’s Stanley Cup finalists eight minutes before the end of regular time. Florida, which was on a five-game winning streak and third in the East, eventually tried to tie the game with one more player, but Cam Talbot became one of Los Angeles’ heroes with 30 saves.
The next match awaits the kings on the night from Saturday to Sunday, and the rivals will be St. Louis Blues. They lost heavily at night against the San Jose Sharks (1:5).
In the remaining games, the champions Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6:5 away from home. They made up for 0:2 and 3:4 deficits and pulled away in the last quarter when Jack Eichel and Mark Stone scored 44 seconds apart in the 59th minute to make it 6:4. Shea Theodore had a goal and three assists.
The Vancouver Canucks had to concede the superiority of the Calgary Flames. Fire teeth won with 5:2. The Seattle Kraken beat the New York Islanders 4-3 in penalty kicks, and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.
In the East, the series of three consecutive defeats was interrupted by the New Jersey Devils. They also ended the Pittsburgh Penguins’ five-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory.
The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2, while Ottawa defeated Detroit 5-4 in overtime in the Stockholm Global Series.
The decisive goal for the Senators was scored by Tim Stützle just two seconds before the end of overtime. Ottawa already led 4-0 in the 22nd minute, but the Red Wings tied the game by the end of the second half after scoring four goals in seven and a half minutes.
They will play three more games in Sweden, where the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild are also participating.