Kings fall to Jets in back-and-forth battle, 4-3

James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles could not handle business on the road as the Jets snapped a 6-game losing streak.

The Kings headed to Winnipeg as they squared off against the Jets in the final contest of a 4-game road trip. After winning their last 3 games at the Canada Life Centre, Los Angeles walked into the game with some confidence on their side. A quiet first 10 minutes left both teams scoreless before Cole Perfetti got the Jets on the board 11 minutes in.

Shortly after, Viktor Arvidsson delivered just his second score of the season to even the game at 1. That would be all of the action in the opening period. The Kings got off to a much faster start coming out of the first intermission as Kevin Fiala knocked in his 25th of the season to give Los Angeles their first lead of the night.

Sean Monahan had the answer for the Jets 6 minutes later to bring the game back even once again. Anze Kopitar used his 26th goal of the year to send the Kings back into the lead as the game’s roller coaster pace kept on going. Before the end of the second, Winnipeg scored once more to tie the game at 3 via a goal from Josh Morrissey.

After 6 total goals were scored in the first 2 periods, the third did not end up with nearly as much action. The lone score came from Winnipeg’s Cole Perfetti, whose second score of the game gave the Jets the 4-3 lead and eventually the win. After starting the road trip off with a victory, the Kings dropped the next 3 and will head back to Los Angeles in fourth place in the Pacific Division.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Perfetti’s 3-point night ices Kings

Winnipeg’s Cole Perfetti scored the first and last goals for the Jets on his way to a 3-point performance that ultimately went a long way in sinking the Kings. He also contributed an assist on Josh Morrissey’s goal in the third period. His first goal came 11:14 into the opening period as he opened the scoring and gave the Jets an early advantage. His second goal would not come until the final period when he got the puck past Cam Talbot to permanently put Winnipeg in front.

Perfetti has now scored just three times since January 11 but came up clutch for his team when it mattered on Monday night. The two scores were his first against the Kings this season as the Jets grabbed the season series victory over Los Angeles 2-1. After the Kings took the first meeting between the two squads back on October 17, Winnipeg would go on to win the final two matchups. With 96 points this year, they are the team with the most points in the Western Conference that is yet to clinch a playoff spot. Thanks to Perfetti, who was a healthy scratch in the Jets two previous games, they got one step closer and set the Kings back by another game.

Kopitar scores third goal in 4 games

While the Kings have struggled throughout the past few days, Anze Kopitar has warmed up. He scored his 26th goal of the season in the loss as he rifled one into the net to give Los Angeles their third goal of the night.

With the goal, he leaped into a first-place tie with Trevor Moore for the team lead in goals. Moore, who only scored 5 combined goals in the months of February and March, has seemingly cooled off during the home stretch of the season. The Kings will certainly need him to catch fire once again to ensure themselves the best chance of success throughout the playoffs. As for Kopitar, he has scored in back-to-back games and extended his point streak against the Jets to 5 games (since Feb. 28, 2023). With games ahead against the Kraken and Sharks, hopefully, Los Angeles will be able to take advantage and earn a couple of very important wins.

Talbot saves 28 in second consecutive loss

After winning 4 starts in a row against Chicago (twice), Tampa Bay, and Vancouver, Cam Talbot seemed to be catching fire. He took a loss in Edmonton against the Oilers on March 28th to end the streak before getting the day off in the team’s next game against the Flames. Talbot returned to the ice on Monday night against Winnipeg as he looked to get back to his winning ways and help the team end their 2-game skid. It was a true back-and-forth battle, with each goalie (Talbot and Brossoit) allowing a goal in the first period and 2 goals in the second period. The difference would ultimately come in the third and final frame.

Talbot makes an impressive play in the third period.

Although Talbot made some nice saves to keep the Jets off the board, he ultimately surrendered the would-be dagger to Cole Perfetti just over 13 minutes into the period. He finished his night saving 28 of 32 shots as he took his second consecutive loss. Talbot’s record is now 23-18-6 this season. It was a good effort from the first-time King that unfortunately came up short.

The squad will now head home for the first time since March 23rd as they prepare for a game against the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night. It will be a must-win contest against the 6th-place team in the Pacific Division. With the Golden Knights holding a three-point lead over Los Angeles for the third-place spot in the division, they will need to put an end to the losing streak and take care of business over the final 8 games in the regular season.

The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. PT.