Phaneuf scores again as Kings down Jets
Newly acquired defenceman has scored in 3 of 4 games with Los Angeles
John Stevens is getting more evidence that Dion Phaneuf is fitting in nicely with the Los Angeles Kings.
Phaneuf scored on the power play on Tuesday for his third goal in four games since being traded to the Kings from Ottawa last week, helping Los Angeles beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3.
Alec Martinez also scored with the man advantage and Dustin Brown's goal late in the third stood as the winner. Torrey Mitchell had the other goal while Darcy Kuemper made 30 saves.
'Dion's been a good fit'
"Why are we calling them [Martinez and Phaneuf] the second unit?" quipped Stevens. "They were the first unit tonight.
"I thought they were terrific. They had a game plan. They moved the puck quickly and they came up with a lot of loose pucks. Dion's been a good fit there. He wants to shoot the puck all the time."
Anze Kopitar picked up an assist on Brown's goal, giving him his 800th NHL career point in his 900th game.
Los Angeles was 2 for 5 on the power play.
The Jets also went 2 for 5 with the man advantage, but saw their three-game winning streak end in the final game of a season-long 10-game homestand (6-3-1).
Laine's power play prowess
Patrik Laine's 27th goal was scored on the power play — his league-leading 16th — with 49 seconds left to squeeze the gap for Winnipeg (35-16-9). Blake Wheeler, also on the power play, and Dustin Byfuglien had the others and Laine added one assist.
"Penalty kill is kinda leaking oil right now," said Wheeler, whose Jets have given up four power-play goals in the past two games.
"Just kind of wrong penalties at the wrong time. They capitalized, stole some momentum. Still 2-2 going into the third at home, I don't think we hate that spot. Just weren't able to get one early enough to go in the third."
Wheeler continues streak
Wheeler also added an assist to take his point streak to six games with three goals and eight assists. He has 14 points in his last 10 games.
The Kings capped off a seven-game road trip going 4-3, boosting their record to 33-22-5 and putting themselves in third place in the NHL Pacific Division behind Vegas and San Jose with 71 points.
"We knew we had a chance to get into the playoff picture here tonight so we were pretty determined to do that and we just did a great job," said Kuemper, who won his fifth straight start.
It was the third straight win for the Kings, who were coming off a 3-1 victory over Chicago the night before.
Kings give Hellebuyck trouble
Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the Jets.
"They had some really good screeners in front of me," said Hellebuyck, who was making his ninth straight start. "I found myself up high a lot.
"Give them credit, they're a good team. They've won a couple of Stanley Cups for that reason, they know how to screen a goaltender. It makes a world of difference."
Byfuglien's fourth goal of the season tied it 2-2 with 65 seconds left in the middle frame.
Los Angeles took a 3-2 lead when Mitchell scored his second goal in as many games by picking up a bouncing puck in front of Winnipeg's crease and finding some open net at 6:17.
Kopitar's assist on Brown's goal at 15:54 of the third gives him 19 points in his last 16 games, including seven goals and 12 assists.
Winnipeg starts a two-game road trip Friday in St. Louis. The Kings host Dallas Thursday.