After winning only one of their first seven games, the Los Angeles Kings are starting to find their stride despite being without a couple of key players.
Arthur Kaliyev scored in the fourth round of a shootout and the Kings extended their winning streak to three games with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.
It is the first time since November 2009 that the Kings have won consecutive games they trailed going into the third period.
“I really think that between the second and third we had to decide if we were going to let frustration just sink in for another period or if we were going to try and play through it, and I don’t think anybody in our locker room gave the other team enough credit for how well they checked,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “The adjustment wasn’t how we were playing. It was how we were playing between our ears, clean it out a little bit and let’s go.”
Both teams scored twice in the first three rounds of the tiebreaker. Adrian Kempe and Alex Iafallo converted for the Kings. David Perron and Jordan Kyrou made their shots for the Blues.
Kempe and Kaliyev scored third-period goals for Los Angeles, which trailed 1-0 after two. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves as the Kings avoided being swept in the three-game season series.
“It’s always nice to get one in a game, but you always try to go confident on the shootout. Seeing what the goalie did, I was trying to go in confident and it worked out well,” said Kaliyev, who has two goals this season and three points in his last four games.
The Kings had an 8-0 shots advantage in overtime, but weren’t able to get the winning goal. Phillip Danault had the best chance on a one-timer with 2.2 seconds remaining, but Jordan Binnington stopped it with his left pad.
Torey Krug sent the game into overtime on a short-handed goal with 7.1 seconds remaining. Anze Kopitar missed a chance to put the game away for Los Angeles when he just missed scoring an empty-net goal on a shot that went wide left.
Quick made a glove save on Tarasenko’s shot, but Krug was able to get the puck after a mad scramble and fire in a wrist shot for his second goal of the season.
“It was a desperation play at that point. You don’t worry about positions and just play hockey,” said Krug, who also had an assist. “It wound up on my stick and I was able to put it in.”
Brayden Schenn added a power-play goal and Vladimir Tarasenko extended his point streak to seven games with a pair of assists for St. Louis. Binnington stopped 33 shots.
“We tied it up and did not have a very good overtime. We were just careless with the puck and made some bad reads,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “The goals they got we gave them in the third.”
Schenn hammered in a rebound at 6:48 of the second after Quick was unable to cleanly get his glove on Tarasenko’s slap shot from the point. Schenn’s goal — his third of the season and second in three games — came five seconds after Los Angeles defenseman Alexander Edler was sent to the penalty box for interference.
Kaliyev tied it 6:16 into the third with a snap shot from just outside the left faceoff circle that beat Binnington short side.
Kempe put the puck into a nearly open net for his second of the season at 12:15 of the third. Binnington was out of position after making a pad save on a wrist shot by Iafallo.
Tarasenko, who has four goals and seven assists during his streak, is one of six players with an active point streak of seven games or more.
NOTES: Kings D Kale Clague, who had the first assist on Kaliyev’s goal, has an assist in each of his first three games this season. … St. Louis has scored 12 goals in the second period, tied for second in the NHL. The team’s four goals allowed in the second is tied for the league low.
Blues: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
Kings: Wrap up their homestand against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.