Kings’ Anze Kopitar nets 4 goals in shootout win at Winnipeg

James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Anze Kopitar recorded his second-career four-goal game, and the visiting Los Angeles Kings rallied from three two-goal deficits to beat the reeling Winnipeg Jets 6-5 in shootout on Tuesday night.

Los Angeles was down 5-3 after two periods when Kopitar posted his first four-goal contest since March 2018, with a slapper just 1:26 into the third. The Kings tied it with 4:06 left in regulation when Gabriel Vilardi broke free, after the Jets’ Dylan Samberg fell, and beat Connor Hellebuyck (32 saves). Adrian Kempe had the lone goal in the shootout for Los Angeles, which finished a 2-2-1 trip.

Josh Morrissey had a career-high four points with two goals and two assists, while Kevin Stenlund also scored twice for the Jets, who have dropped four straight while mired in a 1-5-1 rut.

Winnipeg entered without a goal in five straight periods but had two over a span of 1:43 of the first. Blake Wheeler recorded his 600th career assist as Morrissey successfully poked the puck over the goal line from underneath Kings netminder Pheonix Copley (26 saves) with 4:08 remaining in the first. Moments later, Morrissey unleashed a spot-on laser from the circle for his career-high 13th.

Things then opened up in the second. After Winnipeg’s Neal Pionk was whistled for holding 20 seconds into the period, Kopitar cashed in 6 seconds later via a one-timer.

Winnipeg regained its two-goal edge when Kyle Connor found the top-right corner from a tough angle at 6:08 into the middle frame. However, Kopitar tied it by posting back-to-back redirected goals — with 10:46 and 9:17 to go, respectively — while in front of the net.

The Jets, though, got the lead back when Stenlund went top corner to beat Copley with 12 minutes gone in the second. After Nino Niederreiter, in his Winnipeg debut following a deal with Nashville, drew a check-to-the-head penalty, Stenlund converted on a two-on-one with Adam Lowry, in his 600th game, for the short-handed goal with 1:34 remaining to cap the six-goal second period.

The Jets played minus forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, who was scratched due to a lower-body injury.

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