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Kings' Carson Gives Blues Case of the Blues

October 11, 1987|JERRY CROWE | Times Staff Writer

Jimmy Carson took it upon himself to inject some firepower into the Kings' offense Saturday night.

Carson scored three goals, including two in the first 1 minute 32 seconds, and teammate Luc Robitaille added a career-high three assists as the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues, 4-2, before a crowd of 9,619 at the Forum.

Limited to only one shot in the Kings' 4-1 opening-night loss to the New York Islanders, Carson made sure that if he got only one against the Blues, he would make the most of it.

He made his first shot.

Two more goals gave him his first career hat trick and evened the Kings' record at 1-1.

The weary Blues, who ended a 1-7-1 exhibition season with four straight road games and haven't been home since Sept. 29, took a 0-2 record back to St. Louis.

The defending Norris Division champions were sluggish in their opener Thursday night, failing to get a shot on goal in the first 11 1/2 minutes and losing at Vancouver, 8-2.

And their best defenseman, Brian Benning, who missed the Vancouver game with a pulled groin, also didn't play against the Kings, who put the Blues in a hole early, Carson scoring twice.

King Coach Mike Murphy, who had hinted that he might mix up his lines, opened the game with Sean McKenna and Dave (Tiger) Williams at forward with Carson, who had been playing with Robitaille and Dave Taylor.

Before the game, General Manager Rogie Vachon said of the Robitaille-Carson-Taylor pairing, the Kings' No. 1 line: "The chemistry is not as good as we thought it would be."

Carson scored just 42 seconds into the game, taking a pass from defenseman Steve Duchesne, who joined Benning on the all-rookie team last season, and firing a shot past St. Louis goaltender Rick Wamsley.

Then, when Taylor and Robitaille came on for the line shift, Carson stayed on the ice.

Fifty seconds later, King defenseman Mark Hardy back-handed a shot from the right side that Wamsley kicked out to Carson, who was standing in front of the net, to the left of the crease.

Carson, who remained paired with Taylor and Robitaille the rest of the way, knocked the puck past Wamsley to make it 2-0 at 1:32.

Wamsley stopped everything else the Kings threw at him in the period, making several notable saves as the Kings outshot the Blues, 12-2, in the first 12 minutes and 14-9 in the period.

The Blues then tied the game on goals by rookie Tony Hrkac and Tony McKegney in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second period.

Hrkac (rhymes with circus), who had an NCAA-record 116 points last season in leading North Dakota to the NCAA championship, dug the puck from out of a group of players behind the Kings' net, brought it out front and jammed it past King goaltender Rollie Melanson and into the corner of the net at 3:51.

At 5:28, McKegney took a pass in the right circle from Tim Bothwell and made an uncontested shot that eluded Melanson and tied the score at 2-2.

Carson's most spectacular goal, scored from the slot as he fell to the ice, was set up by a pass from behind the St. Louis net by Robitaille.

The power-play goal gave the Kings a 3-2 lead with 12:45 left in the second period.

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