JEFF CARTER scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the visiting Los Angeles Kings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, 3-1, for their fifth straight victory.
Carter beat former teammate Jonathan Bernier with a wrist shot between the legs on a 2-on-1 break at 9:40 for his eighth of the season. Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger failed to keep the puck in the Los Angeles end, creating the odd-man rush.
Kyle Clifford added an insurance goal with 1:59 remaining and Drew Doughty also scored for Los Angeles. Following a 6-0 victory Tuesday night in Montreal, the Kings improved to 12-1-4 in their last 17 games.
Martin Jones, a 23-year-old rookie, made 38 saves to earn his fourth win in four NHL starts.
Jones came into the game with a .973 save percentage and 0.65 goals-against average. He had stopped 73 of 75 shots and hadn't been beaten in 142 minutes, 46 seconds.
Cody Franson scored his first of the season for Toronto in the second period.
The Maple Leafs were without captain and top defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who was serving the first half of a two-game suspension for a hit on Boston's Kevan Miller last weekend. But forward Joffrey Lupul returned after a seven-game absence due to a groin tear.
The Maple Leafs outshot the visitors, 39-23, but was unable to capitalize on the discrepancy.
* Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard injured a knee in practice.
That led to the Red Wings recalling Petr Mrazek from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and putting forward Henrik Zetterberg on long-term injured reserve.
The Red Wings have ruled Howard out for tonight's game at Tampa Bay and plan to reevaluate him tomorrow in Detroit.
Zetterberg hasn't played since Dec. 1 because of a back injury and is eligible to return Dec. 28 against Florida.
* Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen was suspended for two games for a hit to the head against Buffalo's Zemgus Girgensons.
Cowen struck Girgensons late in the third period of Ottawa's shootout loss in Buffalo on Tuesday night. No penalty was called.