LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drew Doughty, Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar each scored a power-play goal, and the Los Angeles Kings kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
Ben Bishop made 19 saves and Tanner Pearson and Jake Muzzin also scored for the Kings, who trail Nashville for the second wild card in the Western Conference by eight points with nine games to play.
Gaborik put the Kings ahead 2:01 into the third period, and Doughty doubled the lead 1:56 later as Los Angeles emphatically broke out of a 1-for-13 slump with the man advantage.
Pearson then added a short-handed goal with 10:38 remaining.
Patrick Laine and Mathieu Perreault each scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the Jets, who had their three-game winning streak ended along with whatever chances remained for an unlikely late playoff push. Winnipeg is 12 points back of the Predators with eight games remaining.
The Kings had four goals on special teams for the first time since scoring four power-play goals against San Jose on April 5, 2012.
After piling up the pressure late in the second, the Kings finally tied it up at 2 on Jake Muzzin’s long shot with 3:54 left in the period. Jeff Carter was wrestling with Bryan Little for position right in front of Hellebuyck, and the goalie never saw Muzzin’s try because of the traffic.
The Jets regained the lead on a 5-on-3 power play when Bishop retaliated with a whack at Perreault after being run over and Doughty was called for delay of game six seconds into the slashing penalty. Laine’s shot was deflected wide by Alec Martinez but bounced off the boards and back into the crease, where Bishop unknowingly kicked it into his own net with 1:19 left in the opening period to make it 2-1.
Kopitar continued his hot streak to get the Kings’ first goal, scoring on the power play 14:23 into the first to tie it at 1. A wicked wrist shot was tucked into the top corner over Hellebuyck’s left hand to give Kopitar five goals in his last 10 games and nine points in that span.
Perreault got the Jets going after a sleepy start for both teams by tipping Brian Strait’s shot in 6:54 into the game, and later added an assist on the goal credited to Laine for his third straight multi-point game and eighth this season.
NOTES: Doughty has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) on the power play this season, second only to Jeff Carter’s 21 among Kings. . The Jets have scored a power-play goal in five consecutive games and nine of their last 12 contests. . Mark Scheifele had an assist for the fifth game in a row, with the Winnipeg center collecting seven of his team-leading 75 points over the last two weeks.
Jets: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
Kings: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday.
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