TAMPA, Fla. — The Kings are nearly unbeatable when scoring at least three goals. Too bad for them it has happened only 16 times this season.
Kyle Clifford and Dustin Penner had second-period goals to lead the Kings past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1, Tuesday night.
Anze Kopitar also scored for the Kings, who are 15-0-1 when scoring three goals or more. Jonathan Quick, who began the game with a 2-0-0 record and a 0.38 goals-against average in three games against Tampa Bay, made 24 saves.
"Usually when we do get three we're pretty safe with [Quick] back there, obviously," Kopitar said. "He kept us in the game in the first period. That's all you want from your goaltender."
The Kings took a 2-1 lead when Clifford scored on a breakaway off a long pass by Rob Scuderi at 10 minutes 16 seconds of the second period. The goal came eight seconds after Clifford finished serving a roughing minor.
"Guys are really bearing down, and as a team we want to score more goals," Clifford said. "Our goaltenders and our defensive game have really kept us in most games, and we just want to try to improve on our offensive game. So we're just trying to bury as many chances as we can."
Penner made it 3-1 from the slot with 2:14 left in the period. Center Mike Richards assisted on the goal to end a personal point drought at eight games.
Steven Stamkos got his NHL-leading 35th goal on his 22nd birthday for Tampa Bay, who are 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
Stamkos tied it, 1-1, from the low slot off a pass from Teddy Purcell during a two on one at 7:49 of the second. The center has scored at least one goal against all 29 opposing teams he has faced.
Kopitar put the Kings ahead, 1-0, when he beat Dwayne Roloson on an in-close deflection 2:47 into the game. The Kings have only 24 first-period goals and have led going into the second period 12 times.
Stamkos had two good scoring opportunities stopped by Quick in the first period.
Roloson, who lost his starting role this season after leading the Lightning to the Eastern Conference finals last year, has played in only two of Tampa Bay's last eight games. He stopped 17 shots.
It was the Kings' first game at Tampa Bay since a 2-1 shootout victory on Nov. 14, 2009.