Kings surge early and don’t look back in win over Blues

Kings forward Jeff Carter, left, controls the puck in front of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk.
Kings forward Jeff Carter, left, controls the puck in front of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during the Kings’ 6-3 win Sunday.
(Joe Puetz / Associated Press)

Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists, Jonathan Quick made 28 saves and the Los Angeles Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Sunday night.

Alex Iafallo, Carl Gundstrom, Gabriel Vilardi, Lias Andersson and Drew Doughty each scored for the Kings as Los Angeles earned a split of its two-game set in St. Louis. Quick improved to 2-0-2.

“There was a tenacity to us,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We were responsible. I thought it was the first time we took the game to a team rather than receiving it.”


Brayden Schenn scored twice for St. Louis and Ville Husso stopped 29 shots in his first NHL start. St. Louis has lost the second game in all three of its two-game series this season.

Adrian Kempe and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who lost 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night and dropped to 1-2-2 on the season.

Jan. 23, 2021

“We show spurts in second games,“ Schenn said. “I think we think it’s going to be easier at times because we get the first win. It’s certainly not, and so far through the short part of the season on the second game, we’ve been very average and we’ve got to fix that.“

Los Angeles took the lead on a pair of goals just 23 seconds apart in the first period. With Torey Krug in the penalty box for hooking, Iafallo swatted a loose puck in the crease with 1:47 remaining in the opening period to tie it at 1.

Gundstrom put a move on Vince Dunn and faked Justin Faulk to his knees before beating Husso for his first goal of the season.

“Getting on the board with a power-play goal again was pretty big for us,“ Kopitar said. “We just started generating more and more and the pucks started going in for us.”


The Kings expanded the lead 6:25 into the second period when Dustin Brown picked off a pass from Dunn and setup Vilardi for his third goal of the season.

Just 1:57 later, Kopitar deflected a shot from Adrian Kempe past Husso to expand Los Angeles’ lead to 4-1.

St. Louis went on the power play when Andersson was penalized for hooking with 4:52 remaining in the second. However, Kopitar setup Andersson streaking out of the box to make it 5-1.

Highlights from the Kings’ 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

“We came out in the second period and we just played uninspired hockey more than anything,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Turning pucks over, just loose, and it got away from us.”

Schenn put the Blues on the board on a cross-ice feed from Jordan Kyrou 14:26 into the first period. He added his fourth goal of the season 6:01 into the third period.

Ryan O’Reilly followed Schenn’s second tally with his first goal of the season 48 seconds later to cut the Kings lead to 5-3.

Doughty added an empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

Quick staying power

Quick appeared in his 648th career game to move past his goaltending coach, Bill Ranford, into a three-way tie for 39th on the NHL’s career list.

Shots of reality

St. Louis is 3-0-0 when outshooting its opponent but is 0-2-1 when being outshot. The Blues have been outscored 16-4 in the three defeats.

Leave it to Kopitar

Kopitar’s three-point night gives him a point in four straight games. He has one goal and seven assists in that timeframe. Kopitar is tied with Toronto’s Mitch Marner for the NHL scoring lead with 10 points.

“Kopi is so consistent with the things that he does,“ McLellan said. “I think there are some great offensive players that cheat to get their offense and as a result it hurts the team. That’s never the way Kopi has played.”

Up next

Kings: At Minnesota on Tuesday night.