Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar lead Kings’ rout of slumping Blues
Drew Doughty, Carl Grundstrom and Trevor Moore scored in a dominant first period, leading the L.A. Kings to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.
Moore had a goal and an assist for his first multipoint game of the season, while captain Anze Kopitar scored an empty-net goal from the opposite goal line and added an assist. Cal Petersen made 19 saves to end his five-start losing streak for the Kings, who looked sharp in just their third win in 10 games.
Los Angeles and St. Louis were scheduled for two consecutive games at Staples Center this week, but Monday’s game was postponed after a blizzard stranded the Kings in Denver, where they had just lost back-to-back games to the Avalanche.
“The Colorado trip, it was hard on us,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “A lot of things happened on that trip with illness, the storm, with us not playing very well (and) losing both games, and then spending that extra day there didn’t help. I thought our leaders did a tremendous job.”
Mike Hoffman scored and Jordan Binnington stopped 20 shots for the well-rested Blues, who have lost five straight. Despite having the previous three days off, St. Louis got off to a timid start and failed to earn a point for only the second time in nine games.
“We can’t be turning on each other, getting negative,” Hoffman said of the Blues’ slump. “Otherwise it can go south real quick. This group is good enough that we can work our way out of this, but we’ve got to stay positive and keep working.“
Los Angeles won for the fifth time in seven meetings this season with its West Division rivals.
Doughty got the Kings started 3:21 in with a shot from the slot on a power play for his seventh goal of the season and the Kings’ 26th man-advantage goal in only 28 games. Kopitar got an assist for his 20th power-play point of the season, second-most in the NHL.
Just 58 seconds later, Grundstrom charged the net and stuffed a shot past Binnington to end his 14-game goal drought.
“I think it’s been a point of emphasis for us lately,” Moore said of the Kings’ outstanding start. “A couple of good shifts led to that drawn penalty, and then our power play has been good all year, and we cashed in.”
St. Louis didn’t record its first shot until 8:03 into the first period, and Moore ended his 11-game goal drought late in the period.
“It was really slow,” captain Ryan O’Reilly said of the Blues’ first period. “We just didn’t really start with the urgency we needed. Again, we just weren’t quick enough. We weren’t physical. D-zone, we weren’t sharp to goal, and that’s what killed us. We did some good things in the second and the third, but our hole was too deep there. Yeah, we beat ourselves.”
Hoffman scored on a long, deflected shot through traffic late in the second period, but the Blues mounted little offense.
Kopitar sealed the win by shoveling a backhand from the deep corner of the Kings’ end into St. Louis’ empty net with 1:40 to play.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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