LOS ANGELES — The Pittsburgh Penguins had the longest road winning streak in the NHL this season end at six games with a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.
Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists and Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings (18-25-3), who had lost two in a row.
“Last game was embarrassing and the effort wasn’t there (4-1 loss to Ottawa Senators), so coming in tonight we wanted to throw in the effort, obviously, and the desperation level needed to win the game, and we did a good job,” Kopitar said.
[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Kings highlights]
Jonathan Quick made 38 saves for his 301st win, tying him with Mike Richter for fourth in NHL history by a U.S.-born goalie. Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller (374 wins) is tied for first with John Vanbiesbrouck, and Tom Barrasso is third with 369.
“Well, obviously, to get here means I’ve been lucky enough to play with some good players and on some really good hockey teams,” Quick said. “Yeah, it means a lot. It’s special.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about winning hockey games and we were able to get one tonight, and we move forward.”
Jake Guentzel scored twice for the Penguins (25-14-6), who lost for the second time in their past 12 games (10-2-0). Casey DeSmith made 20 saves.
“I don’t think we had our best game, but I did think we competed,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think we beat ourselves in the second period, and that’s unfortunate.”
Quick made a sprawling glove save on Riley Sheahan at 4:17 of the second period before Alex Iafallo gave the Kings a 2-1 lead at 8:47 when Carter’s centering pass hit him in chest and redirected in. The goal was his 10th of the season, surpassing the total (nine) he set as a rookie last season.
Kopitar made it 3-1 with a shorthanded goal at 16:05. It was the 10th shorthanded goal allowed by Pittsburgh, most in the NHL.
Sullivan said he is not considering going away from Pittsburgh’s use of four forwards and one defenseman on the power play, but that those units need to be more responsible with the puck.
“I just think a lot of it is not what penalty kills are doing to us, it’s what we are doing to ourselves,” Sullivan said. “It’s just carelessness. It’s a lack of diligence in important parts of the rink. Even though we’re on the power play, we have to have some conscience defensively, and it starts with our own puck possession.”
Brendan Leipsic scored 49 seconds into the third period to extend the lead to 4-1. Sullivan challenged the play for offside, but the call was upheld after a video review.
Guentzel scored on the power play at 9:20 to cut it to 4-2. He has five goals in the past two games and 10 points (seven goals, three assists) during a six-game point streak.
Kopitar scored an empty-net goal at 19:13 to make it 5-2.
Guentzel gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 5:30 of the first period with a shorthanded goal, scoring with a backhand on a rebound in the crease after Quick stopped Sidney Crosby on a 2-on-1.
Carter tied it 1-1 at 10:58 with a slap shot from the top of the right circle after stealing the puck from Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson at the Kings’ blue line.
They said it
“It’s unfortunate that we gave up one shorthanded because we could have been in a really decent spot going into the third. We played hard and we made some mistakes.” — Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
“Being back there for us, it’s very comforting because he always gives us a chance and that’s what you want from your goaltender. To see him get up there in his individual columns, if you will, it’s not surprising. He’s obviously a great goaltender and I’m sure he’s going to keep on climbing.” — Kings captain Anze Kopitar on goalie Jonathan Quick
Need to know
Carter had his second three-point game of the season. He also had a goal and two assists against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 11. … Jake Muzzin had two assists and has four in his past four games. … Evgeni Malkin had an assist and has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) during a six-game point streak. He is four assists shy of 600 in the NHL. … Kopitar has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past 10 games.
Penguins: At the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, NBCSCA, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)
Kings: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)