TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings didn’t appear to be a team that has played poorly on the road.
Justin Williams had two goals and the Kings got a rare road win, beating the Lightning 4-2 on Saturday and snapping Tampa Bay’s franchise-record 10-game home winning streak.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I played all that well,” Williams said. “Sometimes that’s the way it goes. You play good, you don’t get much. You score two goals and you don’t think you played that great.”
Tyler Toffoli and Drew Doughty also scored for the Kings, who had lost four in a row on the road and are 6-12-6 overall away from home. Robyn Regehr ended an eight-game point drought with two assists.
“We really were adamant before the game started that we need to keep our goals-against down,” Doughty said. “Whatever it takes. Whether it’s sliding to block a shot, block a pass, making a big hit, we’re going to do whatever it takes to keep pucks out of our net.”
Tampa Bay got goals from Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman. It was the Lightning’s first loss at home since losing 5-3 to Washington on Dec. 9.
“They do what LA does,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “They wait for you to make a mistake. If you do, they put it in the back of the net.”
Toffoli stole the puck in the Tampa Bay zone and opened the scoring 1:33 into the game when his backhander eluded Ben Bishop.
Williams made it 2-0 with a nice tip-in following a backhand pass from along the left wing boards by Trevor Lewis at 12:30 of the first.
Doughty stopped a 13-game goal drought to put the Kings ahead 3-0 from near the left circle boards with 1.5 seconds left in the first.
Bishop was replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period. Vasilevskiy turned aside 19 of 20 shots.
After Hedman pulled Tampa Bay within 3-2 by beating Jonathan Quick from the low left circle 1:34 into the third, Williams put Los Angeles back up by two from the right circle at 7:46.
“When we’re up 3-0, the game should be over by that point,” Doughty said. “We should never let them back in the game. We weren’t happy. To get that fourth one is huge. That just kind of puts a stamp on it.”
Kucherov cut the Lightning deficit to 3-1 just 58 seconds into the second.
Quick stopped 26 shots, including a good scoring chance by Steven Stamkos with 5 minutes left in the first. Kucherov hit the post two minutes later.
“We can’t start games like that, then press the play button and we’re OK,” Stamkos said. “Not against teams like that.”
NOTES: Stamkos took two shots and was pointless on his 25th birthday.. … It was the 2,000th NHL game for Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness as a head, associate or assistant coach. … Williams stopped a stretch of seven straight games without a point. His second goal was his 100th with the Kings. … Tampa Bay D Jason Garrison, hurt in Thursday’s game at Dallas, didn’t play. … Lewis had gone without a point in his previous nine games. … Kings D Alec Martinez left early in the first with an upper-body injury after being checked hard into the boards by Cedric Paquette. … Toronto GM Dave Nonis was on the visiting scout list, but was not seen in the press box.
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