In one of their worst showings this season, Penguins routed by Kings

By Mike DeFabo

LOS ANGELES — Just hours after Tristan Jarry was honored with his second career All-Star Game nod, the Pittsburgh Penguins skaters gave the goalie a great chance to show why.

And that’s not a good thing.

During an uninspiring evening, the Penguins were out-shot, out-chanced and out-played. They had entered the game as one of the NHL’s hottest teams since mid-November. But that would have been hard to tell, as they turned in one of their worst showings of the entire season in a lopsided, 6-2 loss at Crypto.com Arena.

While Jarry gave up six goals, he was arguably the Penguins’ best player through the first 40 minutes. Forced to make a number of Grade-A saves early just to keep Pittsburgh in the game, Jarry was up to the task when peppered repeatedly with quality scoring looks.

However, the flood gates finally opened in the third period. Just as Penguins forward Radim Zohorna scored his first goal of the season and it appeared Pittsburgh could escape the L.A. smog with at least one point, the Kings punched back, scoring three times during a minute-and-a-half span to seal the game.

The Penguins entered this road trip riding an NHL-best 10-game winning streak. They’ve now lost twice in the last three games.

Pittsburgh took an early 1-0 lead nearly five minutes into the first period thanks to some puck luck. Defenseman Kris Letang chased it down the biscuit in the corner and backhanded it on net from below the goal line. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was a second slow sliding over, as the puck hit off his skate and bounced into the net.

The goal was one of the few things that went right for the Penguins all night.

A series of unfortunate bounces tied the score at 1. After a sloppy sequence from the Penguins’ second line, the puck settled in the slot. Kings forward Anze Kopitar ripped the shot on net that changed directions off of Kasperi Kapanen’s skate in front and slipped past Jarry.

In the second period, the story remained the same, with the Penguins playing sloppy and Jarry bailing the team out. The goalie made a point-blank save on Trevor Moore. Then, later in the period, Jarry pushed out to make a stellar stop on Alex Iafallo on a Kings power play.

The Kings eventually took their first lead of the game with 5:28 remaining the second period. On the power play, Dustin Brown recorded his 700th career point when he beat a sprawling Jarry.

In the third period, Penguins made their push early. Just 1:37 into the final frame, Teddy Blueger dished a beautiful pass from below the goal line that found Zohorna alone in the slot. He one-timed the puck past Quick’s blocker side to tie the score at 2.

Just when it looked like the Penguins might win a game in which they were largely out-played, the Kings ripped off a trio of goals. Just a minute-and-a-half after Zohorna’s goal, Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson beat Jarry on a long-range shot from the point. Just 10 seconds after that, Viktor Arvidsson made it 4-2. And just 1:13 after that, Kopitar netted his second goal of the game to make it 5-2.

Sean Durzi added a late goal with less than two minutes left to settle the score.

The Penguins have now completed four legs of a six-game road trip. The 12-day swing continues in San Jose on Saturday before wrapping up in Vegas on Monday.


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