Kings find success on power play, rout Canadiens to end six-game skid
Alex Iafallo had two goals and an assist, and the Kings ended a six-game losing streak by beating the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
Arthur Kaliyev and Rasmus Kupari each scored on the power play, Anze Kopitar and Matt Roy each had two assists, and the Kings (2-5-1) won for the first time since their season opener. Cal Petersen made 26 saves.
Josh Anderson scored for the second straight game, but the Canadiens (2-7-0) were unable to post consecutive wins for the first time this season. Jake Allen gave up five goals on 38 shots.
After scoring just six goals in the second period through seven games, the Kings got two against Montreal, with special teams putting them in front after being largely absent during the winless skid.
Kaliyev buried a powerful wrist shot from the left circle to put the Kings ahead 2-1 at 12:19. It was his second career goal and first on the power play.
The Kings tied it up at 1 when Viktor Arvidsson beat Allen with a wrist shot from the right circle at 4:31.
The Kings carried the momentum into the third period, with Kupari scoring for the second consecutive game to make it 3-1 1:53 into the period.
Iafallo extended the lead to 4-1 at 5:37, and he got the Kings’ third power-play goal at 14:16.
“I feel like we’ve been working on it in practice, and it hasn’t been going for us well in the last few games, but [today], what we wanted to focus on was getting shots through, no matter where it’s coming from,” Iafallo said.
The Chicago Blackhawks failed then-prospect Kyle Beach and others in their handling of a sexual assault accusation against a team employee.
It was the Kings’ first game with multiple power-play goals since they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights on opening night, and the three-for-five outburst came after they went two for 21 over the last six games.
“It gave us a cushion. It gave us some comfort. It gave us confidence,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We’ve been waiting for that to happen.”
He added: “And when you score like that on the power play, other parts of your game come along with it. You get confident. I think that might have been the difference in the game.”
The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead at 18:22 of the first period on Anderson’s wrist shot from the right circle. Despite being outnumbered, Anderson and Christian Dvorak were still able to beat the Kings off the rush, with Anderson finishing over a sprawling Phillip Danault.
Anderson has two goals and one assist in his last two games.
Ben Chiarot scored with 2:20 remaining in the third to make it 5-2.
Montreal held a lengthy team meeting following the loss.
“It takes a certain level of compete, a certain level of work to win in this league every night. And right now, we’re not willing to give that on a consistent basis. And our results show that,” Chiarot said.
Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli played against the Kings for the first time after spending his first eight seasons in Los Angeles, where he was a key part of the 2014 Stanley Cup-winning team. Toffoli was recognized with a video tribute in the first period and received a round of applause when he was announced as a starter, but he said the welcome reception was spoiled by Montreal’s poor showing.
“It was really nice,” Toffoli said. “I spent a lot of good, good years here, and it’s just unfortunate that it’s washed away by a bad effort.”
It was Kopitar’s third multipoint game. The Kings captain had not collected a point in his previous three games. ... Kings defenseman Olli Maatta got his 100th career assist. ... Kings forward Lias Andersson made his season debut after missing the first seven games because of a groin injury. ... Kings forward Brendan Lemieux returned after missing six games while in the COVID-19 protocol.
The Canadiens visit the Ducks on Sunday, while the Kings host the Buffalo Sabres that same afternoon.
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