Kempe leads Kings into tie atop Pacific with dominant win vs. Flames
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drew Doughty and Viktor Arvidsson scored in Los Angeles' four-goal first period, Adrian Kempe had two goals and an assist, and the Kings cruised into a first-place tie in the Pacific Division with an 8-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Carl Grundstrom had two goals and Gabriel Vilardi and Mikey Anderson also scored for the Kings, who pulled even with Vegas atop the division by extending its points streak to 10 games (8-0-2) with their second eight-goal outburst of the season.
Pheonix Copley made 15 saves for Los Angeles, while captain Anze Kopitar, Quinton Byfield and Rasmus Kupari had two assists apiece. The Kings have earned a point in every game in March, putting themselves in contention for just the second division title for a franchise with two Stanley Cup championships.
Tyler Toffoli scored against his former team for the Flames, who couldn’t catch up after allowing four goals in a first period for the first time since November 2017. Coach Darryl Sutter’s teams hadn’t allowed four goals in a first period since October 2014, when he was still behind the Kings’ bench.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 20 shots and gave up six goals in the first two periods of his 10th consecutive start before Dan Vladar mopped up in the third for the Flames. Markstrom also allowed six goals in Calgary's overtime loss to Dallas two days earlier to begin the team’s worst two-game defensive stretch of the season.
Noah Hanifin also scored for the Flames, who have lost four of six to hurt their playoff hopes.
The Kings were prolific offensively even with top scorer Kevin Fiala missing his fifth straight game with a lower-body injury.
Grundstrom put Los Angeles ahead early when he skated around Markstrom and scored a goal in his third consecutive game. Doughty then scored his third goal in four games on a long shot through traffic, and Vilardi scored 57 seconds later.
Arvidsson added a power-play goal off a cross-ice pass from Kempe to secure his fifth career 20-goal season, including both of his years with Los Angeles.
Toffoli drove home his 29th goal from the slot on a power play 34 seconds into the second period, increasing his points total to a career-high 62. The goal was Toffoli's third in seven career games against the Kings, who drafted him in 2010 and won a Stanley Cup with him in 2014 before trading him in 2020.
But Kempe got his 33rd goal on a breakaway created by an exceptional long pass from Alexander Edler midway through the second, and he scored again 4 1/2 minutes later. Anderson scored his first career power-play goal in the third.
Milan Lucic was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. The veteran Calgary forward who played one season for the Kings has scored just one goal in his last 27 games since Jan. 10.
Flames: At Anaheim on Tuesday.
Kings: Host Winnipeg on Saturday.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
- Canada beats Germany for record-setting 28th gold at Worlds
- Latvia stuns USA in overtime to win bronze at Worlds
- Dellandrea's late pair helps Stars stun Golden Knights, force Game 6
- 'Golden Misfits' as valuable as ever, 2023 draft FAQ, and 4 other NHL items
- Keith Tkachuk's words came at just the right time for Panthers