LOS ANGELES -- The St. Louis Blues went to Hollywood and wrote a new script for a season that is quickly slipping away.
One of the more proficient, physical starts the Blues have produced this year was followed up by perhaps the most anguishing finish fans have witnessed to date.
Los Angeles scored three goals in the opening 6 minutes, 9 seconds of the third period to rally for a 6-4 victory over the Blues. Jeff Carter netted his second goal of the night to put the Kings ahead after they trailed 4-1 more than midway through the game.
In front of a sellout crowd of 18,118, L.A. managed to even the score 4-4 by the time 21/2 minutes passed in the third period, and just 6:03 into the final frame the Kings had their first lead of the game at 5-4.
The go-ahead goal was the third against the Blues' Jaroslav Halak on just seven shots on net to open the third period. Brian Elliott replaced Halak, continuing a night of musical chairs in net, after Jonathan Quick stepped in for Kings starter Jonathan Bernier earlier in the evening.
Elliott stopped the bleeding momentarily, but a string of minor penalties against both teams kept the special teams on the ice for the much of remainder of the game. With 5:09 left in regulation, Anze Kopitar solidified L.A.'s victory with a wrist shot that beat Elliott.
In a season that has had many sketchy plots, the Blues have experienced few meltdowns, but Tuesday night was one of epic proportions.
The Kings' Jake Muzzin scored his second goal of the game on a wide-angle shot, following a turnover by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Kopitar's capper came after a giveaway by Ian Cole. Shattenkirk and Cole were paired together Tuesday night and collectively were a minus-7.
The Blues dropped to 0-2 on their five-game road trip, which continues Thursday in Phoenix.?
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings had won eight of their last 10 dating back to a Feb. 11 win over the Blues in St. Louis. On Tuesday, they were hosting the Blues, who have been anything but sharp.
Following Sunday's loss in Dallas, however, the Blues landed in LA and held an hourlong meeting at the team hotel, an attempt to straighten out a season that was showing signs of unraveling. Perhaps prompted by the airing-out session, the Blues turned in a spirited, physical start Tuesday.
The line of David Perron, Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund accounted for two goals and five points.
The Blues and Kings were tied at 1-1 in the first period when Vladimir Sobotka broke the stalemate with his third goal of the season. He redirected a shot by Barret Jackman, putting the Blues ahead 2-1 with 1:11 left in the first period.?
They came out in the second period and padded their lead with a goal by Perron that ? chased Bernier out of the game, bringing Quick into the mix for the Kings.
But the Blues didn't slow down. On a pass by Perron, Stewart turned in a highlight-reel goal, a backhanding a shot past Quick for a 4-1 lead with 13:29 left in the second period. At that point, the Blues had four goals on 10 shots.
The club would record only four shots the remainder of the game, being outshot 29-14 by the Kings.
The Blues have plenty of regrouping to do after this debacle.
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