Marian Gaborik got his first goal and assist as a member of the Los Angeles Kings in getting them to a 2-0 first period lead, but it wasn’t enough to extend the Kings’ winning streak to tie a club record.
Mason Raymond‘s shorthanded goal five minutes into the third period broke a 2-2 tie and the Maple Leafs hung on for the win. It made a winner of James Reimer, who was spectacular in relief of former King Jonathan Bernier. Bernier left the game after the first period with a lower body injury, sustained after he made a cross-crease diving save to rob Anze Kopitar of the chance to put the Kings up 3-1 in the first.
Reimer stopped all 31 shots he faced, including 2 incredible saves off the stick of Kopitar, who scored once but should and could have had 4 on the night.
Gaborik opened the scoring, driving the net and having Drew Doughty‘s shot go in off his stick and then foot to earn his first goal in 4 games as a King. Gaborik got his second point of the period on a Kings power play. He had a give and go with Drew Doughty as the Kings gained the Leafs zone, and then Doughty made a seeing-eye pass across the ice to Gaborik, who was all alone for the one-timer, which he buried past his former teammate.
Normally, a 2-0 lead for the Kings is more than enough, but the Kings got into a run and gun game against a team that thrives in that situation. Penalty trouble also got the Leafs back into the game, because on the third man advantage of the period the Leafs capitalized. Dion Phaneuf broke in from the blue line and put a backhander past Jonathan Quick late in the first to make it 2-1 with Jake Muzzin off for a debatable hooking penalty on Phil Kessel.
Carl Gunnarson tied it up in the second on a blast from the point, setting the stage for Raymonds winner in the third. That came right off of one of the saves from Reimer off Kopitar, with the rush coming directly from that save.
The Kings probably deserved a better fate, outshooting the Leafs 41-29. It was truly Reimer’s win and that was good for Toronto after his last start in San Jose didn’t go so well.
So, the Kings will have to start a new winning streak, Quick will have to wait another game to tie Rogie Vachon and Darryl Sutter will have to wait another game to get his 500th win behind an NHL bench.
Up next the Kings will have a statement game when they host the struggling, but still division leading, Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.