Power play makes impact as Lightning beats Los Angeles

The Lightning scored on three of four power plays, including two early goals that made the win seem inevitable.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) stops a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Erik Cernak (81) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. [AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez]
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) stops a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Erik Cernak (81) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. [AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez]
Published January 4

LOS ANGELES—An extended five-on-three typically carries a sense of inevitability. Even more so when the league's top power play is playing one of its worst penalty kills.

With a double-minor, the Lightning scored twice in 85 seconds of two-man advantage and went on to beat the Kings 6-2.

Nikita Kucherov had the first goal, from his favorite spot in the right circle. Brayden Point had the second, down low to goaltender Jonathan Quick's right.

Tampa Bay added another power-play goal late in the second period — a Steven Stamkos patented one-timer from the left circle — as it showed off why it power play is so good.

On all three of the goals, the Lightning played off each other. Particularly with Kucherov, Point and Stamkos on the ice, opponents can't clog all of the lanes. Each of them can draw defenders to him and then fire off quick passes that are hard to react to.

Not that all of the scoring was on special teams. Ryan Callahan scored on a nice play where he stole the puck in the neutral zone and then got a step on two defensemen moving in on Quick.

Ryan McDonagh scored from the top of the left circle in the opening seconds of the second period to put the Lightning up 4-0.

He then gave up a turnover that turned into Austin Wagner's breakaway and the Kings' first goal.

Matheiu Joseph scored his first since coming back from injury, showing off some speed to get a loose puck and then wristing it past Quick.

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