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Kings turn in five-star effort in 5-2 win over Washington

Jack Johnson, Kyle Clifford, Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams score in surprisingly explosive offensive effort. Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier gets rare start and third win of season.

January 09, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings defenseman Jack Johnson winds up before doing a Tebow after scoring a goal against the Capitals in the second period Monday night at Staples Center.
Kings defenseman Jack Johnson winds up before doing a Tebow after scoring… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )

Whether it was the full moon, a simple homage or the sheer delight of finishing off a three-on-one, defenseman Jack Johnson dragged the Kings to a new place.

Johnson "Tebowed" at Staples Center.

It was the Kings' third goal in what turned out to be a 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals on Monday night.

Adding goals for the Kings were Kyle Clifford, Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams (on the power play, no less). Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, getting a rare start, won his third game of the season.

Clifford added an assist for his first career regular-season multipoint game.

The way things have been going for the Kings, four goals would be considered a windfall and five, well, an excess of gluttony.

The Kings are 6-1-3 in the Darryl Sutter era, but this was the first time since he has taken over as coach that they have managed to score five goals.

Of late, they have been particularly offensively challenged, scoring just twice in their previous three games.

That changed against the Capitals. The Kings abruptly reversed course after allowing a goal on Washington's first shot of the game — Marcus Johansson scored just 1:34 into it, beating Bernier with a wrist shot from the left circle. They responded by scoring five unanswered goals, two in the first period, two more in the second and one in the third.

They finished with 35 shots on goal, chasing Capitals starting goalie Tomas Vokoun, who was replaced by Michal Neuvirth for the third period. Vokoun allowed four goals on 27 shots.

Alex Ovechkin, who wasn't overly noticeable after the first half or so of the opening period. Ovechkin had one shot through two periods and finished with three shots.

So often Ovechkin has been the creative force behind goal celebrations. But on Monday, it was the charismatic Kings' defenseman Johnson, who opted to be an agent of change after his goal at 3:01 of the second, which gave the Kings a 3-1 lead.

The Capitals got caught up ice — in fact, it looked as if teammates Joel Ward and Roman Hamrlik collided along the boards in their own zone. The Kings broke out and their two-on-one turned into a three-on-one, with Johnson finishing it off, taking a nice feed from Clifford.

Johnson beat Vokoun between the pads and celebrated over in the left corner, and "Tebowed" right between the and Farmer John signs along the dasherboards.

"The background behind it was that I've got some buddies that flew in from Michigan," Johnson said.

"And we were watching the [football] game last night and after the game they said, 'If you score, would you Tebow for us?' I said, 'Sure deal.' Then I ended up scoring and I thought, 'I've got to pay up.'"

After Denver quarterback Tim Tebow's stirring overtime victory over the Steelers on Sunday, Johnson excitedly tweeted: "love it, so happy for him. Awesome!!! Show the world."

Apparently Johnson decided to do the same thing.

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