The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Plenty of thoughts raced through Jussi Jokinen’s mind before taking the ice, from his daughter’s birthday to his success on the road against the Capitals.
Not much went through his mind when he scored the Los Angeles Kings’ second goal in a span of nine seconds, the key stretch in a 5-2 victory at Washington on Thursday. The quick-strike, second-period goals by Jonny Brodzinski and Jokinen helped the Kings win their third in a row.
“It kind of changed the whole hockey game,” Jokinen said. “It gave a big lift to our hockey team, and we didn’t have to chase the game anymore, and they had to chase the game.”
Jokinen’s goal was his first in 21 games this season after starting with the Edmonton Oilers before a trade to Los Angeles on Nov. 14.
In the midst of a challenging year that included being bought out by the Florida Panthers in June, the 34-year-old was beaming at being able to celebrate daughter Sandra’s sixth birthday with his first goal since March 17.
“She hasn’t seen her dad score a goal in a long time,” said Jokinen, who has eight goals and seven assists in 22 games at Washington. “It was fun to get one on her birthday. It feels good.”
The Kings are finally back to feeling good after losing seven of eight from Nov. 9-24. This one wasn’t easy, as they had to rally and withstand two goals from Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, but the Kings got 27 saves from Jonathan Quick and two goals from Marian Gaborik to get the job done.
“They’re so hard to play against,” said defenseman Drew Doughty, who played a big part in shutting down the Capitals’ top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson. “I’ve never been so tired in my whole entire life.
“I felt like I spent the entire game in my own zone playing against that Ovechkin line. But it was a great battle. All four lines, all six D, Quickie played great — it was just a full team effort, and that’s why we won.”
Washington’s win streak ended at three as a handful of miscues proved costly. Goaltender Braden Holtby made a miscommunication that led to Brodzinski’s goal, and rookie defenseman Madison Bowey was out of position on Jokinen’s.
Sedin twin nets milestone point
NASHVILLE (AP) — It was a grand night for Daniel Sedin.
Brock Boeser had two goals and an assist, Sedin surpassed 1,000 career points and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 5-3.
Loui Eriksson also scored twice and Sedin had a goal and two assists for Vancouver, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Henrik Sedin added three assists, one on his brother’s 1,000th NHL point — a power-play goal that tied it 3-all at 10:22 of the third period.
“I wanted it to be a goal and in a big win, too,” Daniel Sedin said. “We got both, so I’m extremely proud of the group. To be a part of this group, too, it’s amazing.”