ANAHEIM, CA – In his first career NHL start, Martin Jones saw it all.
And in the final moments, he did it all.
In what was an admirable effort from the Kings tonight, Martin Jones held his own in the crease, keeping Anaheim at-bay with 26 saves through 65 minutes of play, and a perfect performance during a nine-round shootout.
The Kings were firing offensively tonight, as they slung 51 shots on Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller, but they had trouble finishing and putting pucks away. Anaheim’s defensive corps did a wonderful job of clogging up lanes and shutting down angles on Kings forwards.
Anaheim blocked as many shots (28) as they took on the offensive end.
After a first period which saw the Kings outshoot the Ducks 16-6, the Kings were finally able to get on the board in the second period.
Jeff Carter opened the gates, sending a heavy wrister toward the top left corner to beat Jonas Hiller for his seventh goal of the season, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead with 12:55 remaining in the second frame. Carter pounced on a Ryan Getzlaf turnover to beat Hiller from point-blank range.
Getzlaf would counter :46 seconds later, tying the game 1-1.
The Kings would finally see their perfect penalty-kill streak come to an end, as Corey Perry struck for the Ducks on the power play early in the third period, giving Anaheim a 2-1 lead. Prior to Perry’s goal, the Kings had successfully killed their last 15 penalties.
Dustin Brown, who had scored only one goal in the Kings’ previous 13 contests prior to tonight, buried the game-tying goal with a high-wrister that snuck past Jonas Hiller with 14:17 left to play in regulation.
Brown’s goal was the 186th NHL goal of his career, and he tied former King and current FOX SPORTS WEST color commentator Jim Fox for ninth all-time in scoring in Kings franchise history.
After a scoreless OT, the real fun began. Cue the Martin Jones spotlight.
It took nine rounds to decide the shootout, the only goal coming off the stick of Dwight King in the ninth round. Mathieu Perreault couldn’t bury the rebuttal for Anaheim, and Martin Jones nixed all nine of Anaheim’s shootout attempts.
What a debut performance for Martin Jones, who was called up from the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs on November 13th to play the backup role of Ben Scrivens as Jonathan Quick continues to recover from his hamstring injury.
If the kid didn’t have folks buzzing back home and back in Manchester, New Hampshire, they certainly will be when they turn on their TV’s in the morning.
The Kings now hold an 18-7-4 record - good for 40 points, sitting them at fourth-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings don’t play again until Saturday night, when the New York Islanders come to town for a 7:30PM date at STAPLES Center.