LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adam Lowry and Patrik Laine scored in the Winnipeg Jets’ fifth victory in six games, 2-1 over the slumping Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Steve Mason made 38 saves during his first start since Nov. 11 as the surprising Jets opened a three-game California swing with the first regulation road victory over the Kings in franchise history. Winnipeg has surged into second place in the Central Division with nine victories in 12 games overall.
Tyler Toffoli tipped home a power-play goal early in the third period for the Kings, who have lost six of seven.
Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots but the low-scoring Kings lost for the sixth time in their last seven games at Staples Center, undoing much of the good feeling from a strong start under new coach John Stevens.
Mason picked up his second victory of the season in a stellar return from a prolonged break while Connor Hellebuyck manned the Jets’ crease. Mason even got an assist on Lowry’s opening goal.
Lowry scored in the final second of the first period when Quick momentarily lost sight of the puck and couldn’t scramble across his crease in time to cut off an open net.
The Jets extended their lead in the final minute of the second period during another power play. Nikolaj Ehlers took the puck behind the net and feathered a backhand pass out front to Laine, who fanned slightly on a shot that still went underneath Quick for his 11th goal.
The Kings generated few scoring chances and cashed in none of them in the first two periods, continuing their offensive struggles in November. Los Angeles hasn’t scored more than two goals in regulation during any of its six recent losses.
The Kings finally scored when Oscar Fantenberg put a low shot in front of the net and Toffoli ramped it past Mason for his team-leading 10th goal.
Winnipeg took three penalties in its own offensive zone in the third period, but Los Angeles couldn’t capitalize on its last two power plays.
NOTES: Lowry’s father, Dave, is an assistant coach with the Kings, and they faced each other on opposing NHL benches for the first time. … Before the game, the Kings signed goalie Jack Campbell to a two-year contract extension. Campbell, the former 11th overall draft pick by Dallas, has played only two career NHL games, but he led the AHL in victories last season for the Kings’ affiliate in Ontario, where he has also spent this season. … Kings LW Marian Gaborik believes he will return soon from left knee surgery that has kept him out since April.
Jets: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
Kings: At the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
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