The second- and third-place teams in the Pacific Division produced a five-alarm fire at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday night, where the Seattle Kraken outlasted the Kings, 9-8, in overtime in the highest-scoring game in the NHL this season.
A six-goal first period segued into an eight-goal deluge in the second before the Kings scored the only two goals of the third to force overtime, where Andre Burakovsky thwarted their comeback.
Tuesday’s match tied for the highest-scoring regular-season game in Kings history with a Nov. 13, 1987 contest. That was a 10-7 loss to the Flames in Calgary, back when commentator Jim Fox was a winger for the Kings. They once played an 18-goal barn-burner, a 10-8 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Seven Kings turned in multipoint efforts, led by winger Kevin Fiala’s four assists. The other prolific Kings were Adrian Kempe, Anze Kopitar and Gabe Vilardi up front, along with defensemen Drew Doughty, Mikey Anderson and Sean Durzi. Wingers Carl Grundstrom and Viktor Arvidsson scored a goal apiece. Jonathan Quick allowed five of the Seattle goals before stepping aside for Cal Petersen, who allowed four.
Seattle, which has reeled off a franchise-record six straight wins during a stretch of 11 victories in its past 13 games, also had seven players with two or more points, including Jordan Eberle’s four-assist outburst. Burakovsky, Justin Schultz, Alex Wennberg, Jared McCann, Matty Beniers and Daniel Sprong rounded out the list. Winger Oliver Bjorkstrand was the only goal-scorer who did not add a second point.
Former Kings goalie Martin Jones earned his 22nd career win, and his third this season, against the Kings despite allowing eight goals. It is the most he has allowed in his entire career and just the second time that the Kings scored six or more goals against him.
For the second straight game, a brain freeze in overtime cost the Kings a win. A bungled line change led to a too-many-men penalty. Seattle punished the Kings when Burakovsky fired from above the right faceoff dot to the short side for the game-winner.
The Kings settled the game down in the third period and clawed back to earn a point.
Anderson hammered a shot from the right faceoff circle past Jones, an equalizer that represented his first goal of the season with 6:21 left.
Durzi had closed the Kings to within one with 8:24 to play when his shot from the left point was deflected upon release before it knuckled past Jones.
For all of the offensive fireworks, Seattle’s leading scorer, Burakovsky, had been scoreless with a minus-two through 13 combined goals. That changed when he cushioned Seattle’s advantage with a shot from the right circle 20 seconds before the second intermission.
The Kings had halved their deficit with Vilardi’s second goal of the night, which was technically at even strength but was the Kings’ fifth de facto man-advantage goal of the season. Anderson’s shot was deflected by Kopitar and then swiped past Jones by Vilardi with 4:19 left in the second.
The 7-6 score meant that the game had already tied not only for the most goals in a Kings game this season, but in any 2022-23 NHL match, with more than a period to play.
The Kraken seized the game’s first two-goal edge off an amateurish gaffe when a defensive-zone pass to the center of the ice was picked off by Bjorkstrand. He made the Kings pay for Vilardi’s sin with a goal, the second unassisted one for Seattle in the period.
Once Seattle had scored five goals, the Kings brought Petersen in for Quick, but that switch hardly stopped the bleeding. A horrendous-angle shot from Sprong created a far-too-lively rebound that leaped skyward, over Petersen and into the net 7:27 into the middle period.
The score was tied at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and, at 6:45, at 5-5 thanks to Kempe’s first goal since Nov. 14. Following a takeaway, Fiala found Kempe between the circles for a point-blank redirection. After scoring six goals in 20 days in October, Kempe had just two in all of November.
Just before the five-minute mark of the second period, the Kraken went ahead 5-4 off of a rush that was finished from the right faceoff dot by McCann.
The offensive flurry carried over into the second period with two goals, one a side, in the first 2:48.
Defenseman Sean Walker’s shot was blockered away by Jones but recovered by center Blake Lizotte, who found Grundstrom for a one-timer from the slot.
Seventy-seven seconds earlier, the Kraken sent two forecheckers at Durzi. McCann’s body check separated Durzi from the puck behind the net. There, Eberle collected it and found a trailing Beniers, who had taken a big check earlier in the play, for a goal from the top of the blue paint.
In the first half of the first period, the Kings and Kraken scored four combined goals in fewer than 10 minutes and six in the entire frame, including four total power-play markers. All that transpired just to end up where they started 20 minutes earlier, deadlocked in a tie.
Vilardi evened the score with 1:08 showing on the clock. Decisive puck movement left Fiala at the hash marks, where he found Vilardi in the left circle for a far-side shot that hit Wennberg and defenseman Carson Soucy on its way into the net.
Seattle took its second lead of the night, striking again on the power play. Sprong was at a tough shooting angle so he flung the puck toward the crease, where Wennberg redirected it between the pad and arm of Quick with 7:05 to play.
The Kings continued their sizzling play with the extra man, as their second unit converted on their first power play. It took them only eight seconds after they won the draw to score. Forward Trevor Moore tested Jones with a one-timer before a failed Kraken clearing attempt facilitated Durzi’s point shot, which was tipped in by Arvidsson 44 seconds before the halfway mark of the first.
Seattle took its first lead of the evening by grinding away at the Kings’ top defense pairing with a cycle. Eberle fended off Anderson long enough for McCann to get position on Doughty. Eberle’s centering pass allowed McCann to flip a fluttering puck over Quick 8:42 into the period.
At the 5:21 mark, the Kraken knotted the score on the power play, thanks to the NHL’s leading rookie scorer and early Calder Trophy favorite. Beniers first made a sweet seam pass to Wennberg, who was denied by the agility of Quick. But Beniers dipped down low and popped in the rebound.
It had taken only 16 seconds for the Kings to announce their presence, scoring in the first 30 seconds of a match for the second time this month. Fiala received the puck in the low slot and though his pass was disrupted, Kopitar pounced on the puck and backhanded it home.
Vilardi returned from a one-game absence due to an upper-body injury. … His replacement Sunday Lias Andersson was sent to the minors. … Defenseman Jordan Spence and winger Samuel Fagemo were both recalled, though neither dressed Tuesday. … Tonight’s coverage was reported remotely.
More to come on this story.