Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Penguins 4, Kings 1

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Winger Jussi Jokinen had a goal and three assists and center Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Thursday.

Pittsburgh (38-14-2) maintained their stranglehold on the Metropolitan Division with the victory, extending to a 17 point lead over the second-place New York Rangers. Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff stopped 30 Los Angeles shots to earn his ninth win of the season.

Pittsburgh seized control of the game when they notched two power-play goals during a two minute 5-on-3 advantage midway through the first period. With Kings center Jarett Stoll and winger Dustin Brown drawing simultaneous penalties, winger Chris Kunitz scored his career-high 27th goal at 10:50 when he was set up by Jokinen from 15 feet out. Jokinen followed 1:03 later when his wrist shot from 29 feet eluded Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick for his 16th goal of the season.

In an effort to swing the momentum in his team's way, Kings coach Darryl Sutter pulled Quick and replaced him with backup Martin Jones to start the second period. The move did not pay off as Jones yielded a bad angle goal for Pittsburgh winger Tanner Glass that gave the Penguins a three-goal lead with 8:14 remaining in the middle frame.

The Penguins took the lead in the game's first minute when Malkin was left alone at the left post for his 15th goal of the season. Quick made a stop on a shot from the slot by winger James Neal, but the rebound drifted to Jokinen, who threw a cross-ice feed for an easy tap-in by Malkin.

Los Angeles evened the game on the power play at 9:32 when center Anze Kopitar hammered a slap shot past Zaktoff for his 16th marker of the season. Defensemen Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov earned assists on Kopitar's third goal in last five games.

The Kings (30-20-6) lost for the seventh time in their last eight games and Jones stopped 15 shots in relief of Quick.

NOTES: Pittsburgh scratched RW Chuck Kobesew, C Andrew Ebbett and D Kris Letang. ... Pittsburgh D Matt Niskanen entered the game as the league leader in plus-minus. His plus-29 is a huge improvement from his plus-4 rating last season. ... Los Angeles did not dress RW Matt Frattin, D Alec Martinez and D Jeff Schultz. ... Kings LW Dustin Brown was dropped to third line duty by coach Darryl Sutter. Brown is suffering through a poor statistical season and was taken off the power play and penalty kill teams as well. ... Los Angeles G Jonathan Quick started his fifth consecutive game between the pipes. Since returning from injury Jan. 4, Quick has started in 13 of the 14 games but was pulled for the first time since an Oct. 15 at Tampa Bay.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (1)