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Anze Kopitar helps Kings defeat Jets, finish three-game Canadian trip 2-0-1

Kings players, including Anze Kopitar, celebrate a first-period goal in Winnipeg, Canada.
Kings players, including Anze Kopitar, celebrate a first-period goal in Winnipeg. Kopitar had a goal and an assist in his 1,200th career NHL game as the Kings won 3-2.
(Jonathan Kozub / NHLI via Getty Images)
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The Kings weren’t perfect on the road, but coach Todd McLellan liked the results and the lessons learned along the way.

Anze Kopitar recorded a goal and an assist in his 1,200th career NHL game to help the Kings pick up a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.

The Kings (38-23-10) finished 2-0-1 on a three-game Canadian trip, losing against the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout and beating the Calgary Flames in a shootout.

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“This was a tough run,” McLellan said. “Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg is not an easy place to play for a lot of reasons. Each one of the teams is a little bit different. They all have superstars who are game breakers. Outstanding goaltending for the most part. Tough buildings to play in. Not an easy travel schedule.

“This is what our team needs right now. We need to go through these moments so that we will be better down the road for that. it could be two weeks from now, it could be next year. I don’t know where it’s going to take us, but we’re learning lessons as we go.”

Trevor Zegras converts another lacrosse-style goal, Isac Lundestrom scores twice and Anthony Stolarz has a shutout as the Ducks end their skid at 11.

April 1, 2022

Adrian Kempe also had a goal and assist and Gabriel Vilardi notched his third goal of the season for the Kings, who have just three regulation losses in their last 18 road games. Cal Petersen stopped 25 shots.

“Cal stepped up and played a great game,” said defenseman Sean Durzi, who had an assist on Kopitar’s goal. “I thought a couple times we hung him out to dry and, obviously, he made the big stops for us, which was huge.”

Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry scored for the Jets (33-27-10), who started a three-game homestand. Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for Winnipeg.

The Jets were scoreless on six power plays, and the Kings were one for three.

“We got our chances,” Lowry said. “Their goalie played well. I think in another game, we could have scored more, but that’s how it is. It’s not easy to score. They did a good job of defending. Goalie made key saves.”

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The Kings (86 points) are in second place in the Pacific Division.

The Jets went into the game four points back of the idle Vegas Golden Knights (80 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference and three points behind the Dallas Stars, who were in San Jose for a game late Saturday.

The Jets had the game’s first power play, but the tables turned and Kempe scored short-handed at 2:21 in the first period. The goal was reviewed to see whether he had kicked the puck into the net, but his 29th goal of the season stood.

Ehlers tied the score four minutes later when he burst down the left side of the ice and beat Petersen, but Kopitar took advantage of a Winnipeg turnover and recorded his 18th goal of the season to regain the lead midway through the period.

The visitors outshot the Jets 19-6 in the opening period.

Lias Andersson scored the deciding goal in the shootout, Cal Petersen made 26 saves and the L.A. Kings edged the Calgary Flames 3-2.

March 31, 2022

The Kings stretched their lead to 3-1 at 3:05 of the second, with Vilardi getting credited for a power-play goal after the puck went in off the skate of Winnipeg defenseman Josh Morrissey.

Lowry closed the Jets’ deficit to 3-2 at 13:31 when he scored off a rebound four seconds after a Winnipeg power play expired.

The Jets were without leading scorer Kyle Connor and defenseman Nate Schmidt for the third consecutive game. They have been in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

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