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Kings earn win over Stars in first game of 2023

January 5, 2023, 2:33 AM ET [0 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings got back on track last night, picking up a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

The Kings weren’t able to build a lot of offensive zone pressure early on, but about eight minutes in, Rasmus Kupari beat Jake Oettinger with a nice shot to put the Kings ahead. The teams traded some power play chances after that, but despite Los Angeles being outshot 15-10 in the frame, they held the lead.

Once again, each team had an early power play in the second frame and while neither could capitalize, the Stars managed to tie the game a little later, off a point shot from Miro Heiskanen. Los Angeles did respond to go back ahead under two minutes later as Anze Kopitar tipped in a point shot from Drew Doughty, but under a minute after that, Jason Robertson took a pass in front to tie it right back up, making it a 2-2 game. Each team had some excellent chances to take the lead in the back half of the frame, but the game remained tied through 40 minutes.

The Kings had the momentum in the first half of the final frame though, throwing a lot of shots on net. Then midway through the period, Kevin Fiala found Adrian Kempe for a tap-in in front, putting Los Angeles back ahead. They did a really good job limiting shots from there, and held on for the 3-2 win.

The win marks Pheonix Copley’s seventh victory in a row for the Kings. He made 28 saves and continues his unlikely rise to success this season.

It’s also just a key win for Los Angeles to get back on track, following a bit of a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Overall though, the Kings have been playing some of their better hockey of the season, now 7-1-1 over their last nine games, so it’s key they were able to rebound after the loss.

Kevin Fiala was a difference-maker, playing a big role in both the first and third goals for the Kings with primary assists. He continues to distance himself from everyone else on the team in terms of both assists and points this season, with nearly a double-digit lead in both categories.

Another big difference for the Kings this season: they’re picking up a lot more points at home. With a points percentage of just 0.56 last season in Los Angeles, they’ve upper their points percentage to 0.65 so far this year.

The Kings also managed another power play goal, which marks the third game in a row. Los Angeles has now managed eight power play goals over their last nine games.

It’s a big win, but the Kings will face a tough test tomorrow, when they face the Boston Bruins.
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