FINAL – Kings 8, Kraken 9 (OT) – Danault, Kempe, McLellan

On a night when several team and season records were set, the LA Kings picked up another point from a wild, 9-8 overtime loss against the Seattle Kraken.

Forward Kevin Fiala led the Kings with four points (0-4-4), while forward Gabe Vilardi scored two goals and defenseman Drew Doughty added three assists of his own. The Kings had seven different goalscorers on the evening and 12 players collected at least one point in defeat.

For the second time in four games, the Kings opened the scoring through the top line less than a minute into the game. Tonight’s game-opening goal came just 16 seconds after the opening faceoff, with forward Anze Kopitar crashing the net and burying a rebound off of Fiala’s shot to put the Kings on the board with his fifth goal of the season.

Seattle stormed back, however, with a pair of goals just over three minutes apart to open up a 2-1 advantage. First, on the game’s first power play, forward Matty Beniers collected his own rebound and fired past Kings netminder Jonathan Quick from the slot. The Kraken pulled ahead at even strength as Jared McCann and Jordan Eberle connected off the cycle, with the latter finishing an assist from the former to put the Kraken on top.

The Kings came back with a power-play goal of their own, however, to knot the score at two. After another good sequence on the man advantage, defenseman Sean Durzi held the puck in at the point, reset and fired towards the net, with forward Viktor Arvidsson getting the redirection and in for his fifth goal of the season.

The Kraken made it 3-2 as forward Alex Wennberg answered with a deflection goal of his own. Stationed to the right of Quick, Wennberg got a stick on Daniel Sprong’s shot from the left-hand circle to put the visitors ahead once again.

Before the intermission horn sounded, the Kings scored their second on the man advantage to tie the game through 20 minutes. The other unit got in on the action, late in the sequence, as Vilardi cut into the middle of the ice and fired his shot off a Seattle stick and in, as he scored in his return from an upper-body injury.

The teams then traded goals twice, first bringing the game to 4-4 and then 5-5.

Just 91 seconds into the second period, Beniers tallied his second goal of the evening as Eberle forced a turnover behind the Kings net and fed the Seattle rookie in front for a slam-dunk goal. The Kings equalized, however, as Carl Grundstrom wired home his fifth goal of the season just 77 seconds later, off a pass from Blake Lizotte, to even the game at four.

The visitors pulled back ahead just shy of five minutes into the second period, with McCann’s second goal of the game. Off a 3-on-2 rush, defenseman Adam Larsson fed McCann for a one-timer, which he sent past Quick to make it 5-4. After the goal, the Kings made a goaltending chance as Cal Petersen entered the game. Less than two minutes later, the hosts tied the game at five, as Adrian Kempe got on the board off a Kevin Fiala assist, Kempe’s eighth goal of the season.

Seattle scored twice to open up a 7-5 lead before the halfway point of the second period. First, a Petersen save on forward Daniel Sprong sent a rebound high into the air, before it came down, deflected off of Petersen’s skate and in to put the Kraken back on top. Just over two minutes later, forward Olivier Bjorkstrand intercepted an errant pass through the slot and snapped his shot past Petersen from between the circles for his third goal of the season.

The Kings once again answered, however, as they nearly scored their third power-play goal of the evening. Just seconds after a power play expired, Vilardi got his second of the evening as he put home a Kopitar pass at the back post for his 13th goal of the season and a 7-6 scoreline.

Seattle capped off what was the highest-scoring period in the NHL this season through forward Andre Burakovsky. From the right-hand circle, Burakovsky beat Petersen on the blocker side, after the goaltender was tangled in the crease with his own defenseman just before the shot. Burakovsky’s goal brought us to the scoreline of 8-6, in Seattle’s favor.

The Kings scored twice in the second half of the third period to tie the game at eight. First, Durzi’s shot from the left point evaded all traffic in front, including goaltender Martin Jones, to bring LA within a goal. With just over six minutes remaining in regulation, defenseman Mikey Anderson sent a one-time past Jones on the glove side to tie the game at eight with his first goal of the season.

The teams tensely reached overtime at 8-8, before Seattle won the game with a power play during the extra session. Burakovsky buried his shot blocker side for the win with his second goal of the game.

Hear from Kempe, forward Phillip Danault and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s game.

Phillip Danault
Where he sees the greatest need for improvements
Be stronger defensively, for one. When we make little mistakes, they cost us every single time, so we’ve got to learn from this. We can’t just keep doing it game after game, we have to learn from this. If we want to be a winning team, and go far in the playoffs, we have to work on it right now.

On his takeaways from tonight’s game
Yeah, tonight I feel like every mistake went into our net, every time. I guess it was that kind of game, I’ve definitely never been a part of one like this. We got a big point though, we came back and we kept believing in ourselves in the third……although we were poor defensively, we got a big point.

On the ability to get a point on a night when they conceded nine goals
It was definitely that kind of a weird game, you could tell it was going to be high scoring. We kept believing in our offense in the third, kept pushing and obviously came back. Big point, but definitely a lot of work to do.

Adrian Kempe
On his takeaways from playing Seattle and tonight’s game
They’re hard to play against, ever since they came into the league, they’ve become a much better team than last year. They were hard to play against last year, but this year I feel like their team game is really good, it’s been some really tight games. Obviously a weird game tonight, not good enough in the d-zone and the offense was really good. It could have gone either way.

On a 9-8 game coming after a series of lower-scoring games
I just don’t think we executed in our own zone very well and on the other side of that, we did a good job offensively. It was a weird game, we had one of these earlier against Minnesota, where both teams played good offense and not very good defense, that was pretty much how the game went.

On his thoughts heading into the third period and areas for improvement
When you’re down two goals going into the third and you feel like you can still win the game, it’s a good thing. On the other hand, we didn’t play nearly as well as we could in our own zone, too many turnovers. That’s the thing we need to get better at.

Todd McLellan

A night, Insiders, when I believe the video with Todd’s interview is the more impactful use of his interview than a transcription. The full interview is embedded above, thought the Bally feed only aired part of the interview. The audio file contains the full exchange.

Notes –
– Just 20 games in NHL history were higher scoring than tonight’s game. The last game with more than 18 goals came on 1/13/96 (SJ @ PIT).
– Tonight’s 17 combined goals were the most in an NHL game this season, surpassing the previous mark of 13. The Kings (7-6 @ MIN) and Kraken (8-5 @ SJ) were involved in both games with 13 combined goals.
– Both the Kings and Kraken either set or tied the single-game record this season for most goals in a game. Seattle was previously one of four teams with eight goals in a game this season.
– The last time the Kings were involved in a game where at least 17 goals were scored was 11/13/87 against Calgary (LAK – 7, CGY – 10).
– Per NHL PR, the Kings scored five tying goals, the most by one team in a game in nearly 27 years (BUF: 5x on 1/6/96 at MTL). Tonight was just the 15th contest in regular-season history in which a team accomplished the feat.
– The eight combined goals in the second period tonight were tied for the most in a period this season, with no game having more since 2019 (OTT @ CHI, 2/18). The last time two teams combined for more than eight goals in the second period was 2017 (WSH @ PIT, 1/16).
– Adrian Kempe (1-1-2) notched his eighth goal of the season, marking his 200th career point, becoming the 14th member from the 2014 NHL Draft class to reach such a mark. He now sits two goals shy of his 100th career goal.
– Kevin Fiala (0-4-4) recorded his first four-point game as a King, marking the fourth time in his career he has earned four or more points in a game.
– Drew Doughty (0-3-3) registered his 109th career multi-assist game, moving him two multi-assist outings of tying Rob Blake (111) for most by a defenseman in LA Kings history. His three points also moved him ahead of Fredrik Olausson (147-434-581) for 48th-most points by a defenseman in NHL history (133-449-582).
– Gabe Vilardi (2-0-2) recorded his second career multi-goal game (last: 5/5/21 at Arizona).

The Kings are set for a practice tomorrow morning at 11 AM from Toyota Sports Performance Center.

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